S3E1: Reimagining Generational Wealth for The Latinx Community

S3E1: Reimagining Generational Wealth for The Latinx Community


To celebrate Latinx History Month and continue highlighting the diverse community that spans beyond the root of the Spanish language, we are kicking off our new season with an important conversation with Jannese Torres-Rodriguez, creator and host of the Yo Quiero Dinero Podcast. We chat about navigating the wealth gap, alternative ways for the Latinx community to pursue generational wealth, changing stereotypes & mindsets, and the journey of shifting a person's, family's, and community's circumstances & trajectory toward generational wealth through entrepreneurship.

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JANNESE TORRES-RODRIGUEZ is a nationally acclaimed Latina Money Expert, Educator, Speaker, Writer, and Business Coach. She became an accidental entrepreneur after a job loss led her to create a successful Latin food blog, Delish D’Lites. Now, she helps her clients and listeners build successful online businesses that allow them to pursue financial independence and freedom. Jannese is on a mission to educate marginalized communities on topics like entrepreneurship, investing, and building generational wealth through her personal finance podcast, “Yo Quiero Dinero.” The podcast has been featured on BuzzFeed, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, NPR, NextAdvisor(Time), Grow Magazine (CNBC), Bankrate, and more.

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This episode was produced by Global Thinking Foundation USA and Hangar Studios.

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View Transcript

[00:00:00] Mary: Hello everyone. It's Mary here, and I'm so pleased to welcome you all back to season three of 'Your world, Your Money.' We have a lot in store, continuing our real money conversations, with real people in - of course - a real way. Our season is beginning on the outset of Latinx Heritage Month. And for those curious, we are opting to use Latinx over Hispanic heritage to include all of our gender nonconforming folks and all the Brazilians in our celebration.

[00:00:29] Mary: This is a beautifully diverse community, which spans beyond the root of the Spanish language. And we are so excited to share our conversations, exploring the values and movements happening right now. Today, we are joined by the amazing Jannese Torres-Rodriguez behind Yo Quiero Dinero podcast. Yo Quiero Dinero specifically aims to educate and empower listeners underserved by traditional financial organizations.

[00:00:56] Mary: De-stigmatizing the topic of money in Latinx and BIPOC spaces, Jannese helps her listeners build their online businesses, leveraging their success to achieve financial freedom. Jannese's insights are particularly apt in this conversation about building generational wealth. We explore who has traditionally benefited and achieved generational wealth, how others and other communities have historically been excluded and what is possible now for communities to pursue and achieve this admittedly sticky term. We take some time really getting into how entrepreneurship can shift a person's, family's, and community's circumstances and trajectory of generational wealth.

[00:02:15] Mary: Just to get us started, tell us about yourself. Tell us why you're so cool. Why you're so awesome.


[00:02:31] Jannese: I would not classify myself as cool. I'm definitely a nerd at heart. But thank you. So, I am a serial entrepreneur. I call myself an accidental entrepreneur because this was never part of the plan, but I am a blogger, turned podcaster, turned personal finance expert.


[00:02:51] Jannese: And so that's a little bit of what I do. I started as a food blogger and just learning about entrepreneurship sparked this thing in me, where I wanted to learn about all things money. And so, after starting my blog and learning the power of entrepreneurship, I wanted to learn more about personal finance. But in that realm, I never found anyone who looked like me as a Latina talking about money.


[00:03:14] Jannese: And so, I decided to create the space for... the conversation. And so, I'm the host of a podcast called, 'Yo Quiero Dinero,' which translates to 'I want money.' And so, I think it's pretty, self-explanatory what we talk about on the podcast. It's, um, a place where we can demystify and de-stigmatize money, especially for the Latinx community, because it's just such a taboo topic.


[00:03:37] Mary: Oh, I love this name. It's amazing. That name is absolute fire - and unrelated question. What was the cooking blog about? Did you do cooking that maybe like your mom taught you or was it like, how do I, I don't know. Boil water?


[00:03:51] Jannese: No. So, I do a lot of Puerto Rican recipes. I'm Puerto Rican. That's my heritage. And again, like I never found a lot of representation in this space. There's maybe one or two Puerto Rican cookbooks that are like well-known in our community. There's not a lot of well-known bloggers - and I'm an engineer. Like, this is why I say I'm an accidental entrepreneur because I went to school, had the plan 'work 40 years retire at 65.' This whole entrepreneurship thing was just so out of the blue, but the frustration and dissatisfaction with my career was actually what sparked me to become a blogger. On that blog. It's called Delish Delights and I share my Puerto Rican heritage along with all the awesome cultures that we have in the Latino community. So, I talk about, you know, Mexican cuisine and Colombian cuisine and Cuban cuisine, because it's just such a vibrant community and there's just so much to share. So that's part of what I do on my blog.


[00:04:47] Mary: So, going over to - what you're doing now with your podcast and, and getting into finance - because that's what we're here for. We're all about the money and finance and empowerment. We really want to talk about generational wealth because that's such a huge thing. So, to start off like...What does that mean to you when you hear it?


[00:05:08] Jannese: Well before I actually knew what it meant, I thought it was just like, what really wealthy usually white families have as part of what they pass down to their kids. It's just some sort of inheritance, a lot of money sitting in stocks and whatever. So, for me, I didn't understand that first generational wealth was something that anyone who was from my community could aspire to... and learning about financial literacy was really the foundation of beginning to believe that that was something that I could then start to implement or those principles I can start to implement to create that wealth in my life. So generational wealth now I know is really the power to change the trajectory of your family. It is the power to break generational curses. It's the power to break the poverty cycle. And that starts with really understanding the power of money and then putting it to work in a way that you can't replicate with your own time and energy.


[00:06:07] Mary: Oh, there's so many good nuggets in that. So, the first one that I have to ask about is this cultural aspect of it. So, when - you're exactly spot on. Even when I think of generational wealth, that's what comes to mind. And I can imagine that's the same for others. So, thinking about the cultural experiences, maybe of like your parents, and I don't know if you have kids, but like the next generation in your community or the Latinx community that you feel comfortable speaking for.


[00:06:35] Mary: Like, what is the cultural impression of generational wealth and how is it changing? How are we shifting it?


[00:06:41] Jannese: Yeah, for most of us, it's this idea that hopefully you can buy a house that then you pass to your kids. Like, that's the extent of the conversation. And I know for me growing up, I thought if I can buy a house, like I have made it, the American dream has been achieved and we never talked about investing. We never talked about anything other than home ownership, because it's just seen as the pinnacle, especially in our culture. And I think the narrative is changing for a couple of different reasons. One as a millennial, we are saddled with more debt than all the other previous generations, especially when it comes to student loan debt.


[00:07:13] Jannese: And so, the achieving that American dream of buying a home is just so much more difficult. And we're also being exposed to the stock market in ways that we never have been before. A lot of that is because of the internet and just the access of information that we have. That's really unprecedented when you compare it to past generates.


[00:07:32] Jannese: So, I think there's a lot of us kind of questioning those status quo's if you will, of what we've been told is wealth or what it looks like and what we can achieve. And also, I think entrepreneurship ties into that too. I think it's easier than ever to start a business because of the power of the internet. So, between us learning more about what our options are, us challenging, the narratives that we've been told, because we know that it's just much harder for us to achieve the same type of success that we've seen in past generations. That's where the conversation is starting to change. And I'm so excited about it.


[00:08:04] Mary: And I love that you mentioned the entrepreneurial side because when you look at the statistics, the cultural group, that is actually the strongest entrepreneurs and the largest group of entrepreneurs in the United States right now and for the past couple of years is actually - in the US it's Hispanic. We love, we love our misnomers that, but like the Latinx community. Because it is such a, an avenue to break out as this cycle on every front. Because then people start talking about it, right? Like you start having young people or, or, you know, older generations talking about entrepreneurship and that gets into investing and how maybe the home, isn't the only option.


[00:08:43] Jannese: Yeah, and I think that's almost a function of necessity because we know that especially Latinas are being paid almost half of what a white man is for the same work. And so, when you're battling against the wage gap and the systemic inequalities that are built into our system, you have to figure out other ways to make up that gap. And entrepreneurship is what a lot of us have turned to, to start to bridge the wage gap.


[00:09:07] Mary: You mentioned entrepreneurship as this means and method. And I think about the percentage of women, and then on top of that, that next women that are in mid-level management in that traditional path or in C-suite management, the percentage is so small and tiny. And so, entrepreneurship is, is breaking that down completely. So, I'd love for you to jump in on the stigma around that and how we can play with those percentages and change them.


[00:09:37] Jannese: Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. We're not seeing the representation that we want to see in our workplaces. Um, I know for me as a woman in stem... So, I'm an engineer and I was usually the only Latina and the only woman in most of our meetings and most of our boardrooms and most of our discussions. After a while, it gets really frustrating to just continue to see that and to feel like you're passed over because you're just not taken as seriously.


[00:10:07] Jannese: And you're not given the promotions and you're not giving the raises of your colleagues. And then you find out that you're getting paid less for the same amount of work. So, we have two choices, right? We can try to break those glass ceilings, or we can just create the business ourselves and be the boss. And I think for a lot of us, it feels easier to take that route. And once we've experienced the freedom that can come with owning your own business and the limitless income potential that can come with that, we are forever changed. I know I was.


[00:10:39] Mary: Yeah, I absolutely agree. Women tend to build better houses without ceilings, just saying... as the engineer in the conversation, I'm sure you can agree with that.


[00:10:48] Mary and Jannese: [laughter]


[00:10:49] Mary: Well, homing in, you were talking a lot about income inequality, and I think that there's a broad stigma conversation that we can have around generational wealth and also women and Latinx people achieving that. And so, what stigmas or disadvantages or gaps do you perceive when it comes to income inequality? And it can be as a woman or just in general? Cause it, it exists in general for sure. And where do you see like financial freedom coming into that? Maybe towards like the, the fixing it side of it.


[00:11:22] Jannese: Yeah. So, I think a couple of the stigmas that exist for us is this idea that money is still a very male oriented topic that a lot of us feel like we have to defer to husbands or fathers or to the men in our lives. So, there's this fear of not being adequately prepared to handle money. And so that's why I think it's so important for us to have these conversations because we start to break those taboos when we introduce people to women who are starting businesses and who are investing and who are doing all these quote unquote male things.


[00:11:55] Jannese: The other thing too is I think a lot of us tend to want to serve as women. I think we're just natural nurturers and caregivers. And so that tends to relegate us to careers that are lower paying and higher risk. And we saw a lot of that during the pandemic, right? We saw healthcare, we saw hospitality, we saw retail, we saw customer service type jobs, which are primarily held by women. Those were the hardest hit industries. And those tend to also be some of the lower paying industries for women of color. So, this idea that we don't only have these things as an option and we can normalize being entrepreneurs, we can normalize being investors. We can normalize earning six figures. That's really important to me because I think that's how we've been to shape the narrative or reshape the narrative so that we know all of the options that exist for us versus just the traditional gender roles that a lot of us have fallen into because of that's what we've seen.


[00:12:51] Jannese: And then when it comes to investing, there is a big stigma in the community that it's gambling, because there's a lack of knowledge about what investing actually is. And so, it's important to also educate ourselves on the fact that this is something that generations of people have been doing. There are people who've been benefiting from these systems.


[00:13:09] Jannese: So instead of fearing them, why don't we try to understand what they're doing? And then let's just do the same thing and see where that gets us. I think that's how we start to discuss or open the discussion to what financial freedom can look like. Because when you are fully aware of what your options are from a career standpoint, from a generating wealth standpoint, from a time and location, independence standpoint, that's when we really start piquing interest for people.


[00:13:37] Jannese: And they start to realize like, 'oh, it's not just go to school, get a job, work forever, hope to retire.' Like that's not the only option.


[00:13:46] Mary: And I think that - we really stand behind this. Like, you can't be what you can't see. And so, talking about this financial freedom piece, it's an empowerment piece as well. So, when you have that education and you're able to step into those spaces, it's empowerment also. I love that you mentioned that. In these communities, as you're talking about this, something that I think we really focus on is financial education. And obviously you talk a lot about personal finance and what you do in your podcast. And one of the things that we always hit up against is accessibility. How can we reach the communities that actually need this?


[00:14:26] Mary: And one of the things that we love so much about your podcast and what you do is you're actually able to talk to people that need to receive it. And so, thinking about generational wealth and just kind of shifting that empowerment, what role have you seen, and have you experienced financial education playing and maybe what is like the gap that you were really amazed to discover?


[00:14:46] Mary: You're like, 'oh my gosh, this is such a gap for my community. Like we've got to get on this.'


[00:14:50] Jannese: Yeah. Well, I know for me, as an avid podcast consumer, I found the gap very quickly when I started trying to find people who were talking about money, who were Latina or who identified as Latinx, and I couldn't find them. So, I knew that gap existed, but I didn't realize like how much actual hunger there is for this information. And it's amazing the messages that I get every week. People are like, 'this is the first time I've heard a Latina talking about making six figures in her business. This is the first time I've heard a Latina talking about financial independence.'


[00:15:22] Jannese: 'This is the first time that I've seen a woman of color discussing index funds on the internet.' Right? And so just that type of - people want that representation. They're not satisfied with just getting the generic one size fits all education that maybe past generations have been okay with, because maybe that was all that they had.


[00:15:43] Jannese: I think social media has been a big part of creating this community because unfortunately the mainstream media still hasn't picked up the fact that there are these diverse voices. They're just starting to realize that 'oh, wow. You know, there's a lot of women on the internet who actually want people to know about this stuff and maybe. We should give them platforms.' Hint, hint. So, my hope at some point it's like, we don't just have the Susie Orman’s and the Dave Ramsey's educating everybody that, but that we have like women of color on major media channels on daytime talk shows, like literally talking about this stuff because the hunger is there.


[00:16:26] Jannese: The desire is there, and we need it. If we're going to build a community that is truly inclusive as a personal finance space. That's part and parcel with the work that we have to do.


[00:16:40] Mary: 100% I'm over here, just like celebrating with you. And I was actually having a chat about this earlier today, celebrating... we have to celebrate and absolutely recognize those people. I think a lot of times, especially as we're making this transition, we, we like to have that diversity factor. But it's just a factor to some people. It's not actually celebrated and said, what are your actual real thoughts on this? Because they are absolutely crucial to the conversation.


[00:17:10] Jannese: Yeah. One of the things that I've noticed is just a simple topic, like supporting your family financially. That's a huge burden that a lot of people in the Latinx community are planning for, but they're overwhelmed with how to start what to do. And something as simple as having him family emergency fund. Which is basically an emergency fund that's set aside for your family versus yourself. I couldn't find anything.


[00:17:32] Jannese: So, I had to be the one to write this content and to create the discussion around this. And it's like the first time that people are introduced to these concepts. It's life changing because they realize like 'I don't only have this black and white set of options that come from a 25-year-old textbook.' Right? Like personal finance evolves. And it's important for the discussion to evolve, especially if we want to call ourselves a truly inclusive community. And it's not just about celebrating Black History Month in February or Latinx heritage month in between September and October. It's about including us in the conversation all year long, because guess what?


[00:18:10] Jannese: I don't get to not be Latina after October 15th, you know, like that's still my lived experience and I still need advice after that.


[00:18:20] Mary: I completely agree with you. And I feel like everyone, everyone, I know white men, we're just, we come for you. It's honestly, but if you're anything other than that, you're like, yes, I still have to be this identity tomorrow and the day after. It's amazing. And actually, talking about that and you, you had mentioned financial institutions and talking about how there wasn't even a family emergency fund being talked about much less in like a pamphlet you could pick up. And so, talking about the institutions that we have, there's so many communities that they don't serve at all.


[00:18:58] Mary: Honestly, between the two of us, we could probably come up with more than most of our hands together. So, thinking of how they're not serving those communities, how can we shift the financial institutions to be more inclusive? And I especially think about that diversity factor, that old guard factor that you'd been talking about a minute ago. But I'd love for you to just jump in at the start of it and we can get into the nitty gritty


[00:19:23] Jannese: Yeah, the awesome thing is that there are so many people who are also becoming aware of that. And instead of just observing the problem and not doing anything about it, they're starting FinTech companies to create banks that cater to black and brown people and even the LGBT community, which is amazing. So, I hope to see those initiatives supported by institutional investment. I hope to see that incorporated into the culture of banking. And you know, when, when you don't see yourself represented, you're probably going to end up contributing to something else that is feeding what you need. And so, I think, as consumers, we can support the companies who are doing the work, who are showing up authentically, who are willing to change, who are willing to embrace the fact that the way that things have been done, it's not going to work anymore.


[00:20:14] Jannese: And that's where our dollars go. So, who you bank with or who you invest with, or even who you learned from. People will vote with their dollars about what you're doing as a brand, as a company. And the whole thing about, you know, diversity and inclusion, just being like a, something on a checklist...that's no longer acceptable. Like if that's not built into your core mission, as a company, people will see that and they will act accordingly. So, I don't think it's an option at this point. If you want to embrace the future of this country, which is going to be majority black and brown by 2050, if not before that, those are going to be your customers.


[00:20:53] Jannese: So, you're going to have to start figuring out how to talk to them.


[00:20:56] Mary: 100%. As you were talking about that, I was thinking about, we have these traditional institutions and that's where a lot of the wealth comes from. That's where those 8% returns over, you know, however many years. That's where that comes from. But if you're not welcome in there and it's not serving you, I love this disruptive side of it. Something that I think is so important is that we must have both extremes to change the middle. And so, seeing more of these two extremes come about, so that that middle starts to change. And who knows, maybe you'll see a pamphlet with, you know, family and like I'd love to see that. A lot of the people that are keeping, keeping the status quo the way it is is that old guard of people. We had talked a little bit about that before, and maybe it is through entrepreneurship, but I'd love your thoughts on like, how do we, how do we get them on their way, a little bit faster out the door?


[00:21:49] Mary: Just like you've got to walk a bit, just a little faster.


[00:21:53] Jannese: Yeah. I think that's an existential question that I wrestle with a lot. Um, it's going to be a collective effort. So, when enough people start demanding change, that's when change starts to happen. And in the meantime, what I think, you know, as a content creator and as an educator in this space, the best thing I can do is to just keep showing up for my community. Pushing them to ask those questions and to demand more of the institutions that they have in their lives. You know, even the companies that they work for, the things they've been told are the right things to do by their family. I'm just here to kind of plant seeds, plant ideas and let you do what you will with them.


[00:22:40] Jannese: Um, so I'm hoping that, you know, as we continue to educate folks on what it is to invest and real estate and challenging the status quo of what you've been taught about money and entrepreneurship. That those conversations are what started to change things.


[00:22:54] Mary: And we've been talking really macro about this and that's necessary. Absolutely have to. Just looking at the impact of generational wealth on a community. What would the impact be? If we could actually get like a, a chunk of young people - we can pick whatever percentage we want. On this generational wealth path, like what, what would that impact look like? Like what could they tangibly be like, 'this is a future that I can have.'


[00:23:25] Jannese: Yeah, well, besides the obvious morale boost thing that that would do for us as a community, because we're just so used to the struggle and the cycle of poverty, that it feels almost normal. Once we start seeing that, that's not our only option I mean, I think the potential is limitless. When you're not struggling to live, you have creative capacity to create, you can create businesses.


[00:23:51] Jannese: You can maybe have a family. There's people who are literally not having children because they can't afford to have them like, imagine not having to make that choice. Um, you could expand your opportunities in your career because you have the bandwidth and the financial security to be able to make those drastic changes. You can do really aspirational things like saving money for college for your children or for your nieces or nephews or cousins or whatever. You can retire your parents. You can ensure retirement with dignity for yourself and the people that you love, like that is all we want. That's what all anybody wants.


[00:24:31] Jannese: They want to see the fruits of their labor pay off so that at some point in your life, you can enjoy them. And too many of us don't have that example. And so that I think is the power of generational wealth. It just gives you options. It gives you options to choose what your life looks like, what your day looks like.


[00:24:50] Jannese: And I think at the end of the day, that's all we want as human beings. We want the freedom to design our lives in the way that we choose. And generational wealth definitely makes that a tangible reality.


[00:25:04] Mary: And thinking in that vein of what that does, community-wise, immediately I think, 'well, with that kind of empowered and like financially free community that looks like representation' and starting to change some of the laws that actually just keeps this community in the cycle of poverty and down and helps shift that. So, hell yes.


[00:25:27] Jannese: Yes, absolutely. We need more politicians out there writing the laws because those, those laws impact us in very micro and macro ways and representation matters at all levels of government as well.


[00:25:41] Mary: Oh, yeah. And before we jump over into talking about your podcast, what would you share with your community about generational wealth?


[00:25:48] Jannese: Yeah, well, the first I want to reiterate that, yes, it is something that we can and should aspire to because the potential exists and all you need to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be is first education. So, find someone who actually speaks to you and who you feel seen by and who you feel understood by and who you can resonate with because the importance of financial literacy. It's not just about what we're talking about. It's, who's talking to you about it. It's the message and the messenger. That's when things start to shift for people. So, find someone that you connect with and then start implementing what you're learning. It's not enough to just say, 'okay, I read a book.' Okay, what are you going to do with that information?


[00:26:33] Jannese: And most importantly, you might be the first person in your family and your circle to be learning this stuff. Don't hoard the information because the community aspect requires us to share and to give this to as many people as possible so that we can have as much transformation as possible. So, know that it is possible for you. Find who's going to teach you, put those things in place and share with everybody.


[00:27:00] Mary: Oh, I could not agree with that last one more. Like it's physically impossible. I couldn't agree with it more. I think about having the conversations that women have today that not even what 10 years ago would have been heard of. Right. That is where the power is. And so, I could not agree with that communication piece more. The more people in a community that talk about all those uncomfortable things around money, the more of those conversations that you have, the more as a whole, you get to change it.


[00:27:31] Mary: And the more support you have, right? Like the more people that will come to your side and say, 'oh wait, yeah, let's go change that. I haven't done it yet, but that sounds great. Let's go.'


[00:27:39] Jannese: Absolutely.


[00:27:40] Mary: Hell yes. So. Um, so tell us about your podcast. You are cool and amazing, and nerds are the best. Just so everybody knows. Everybody that listens knows I'm a super nerd. So, like nerds are the best. Just saying. So, tell us a little bit about that. And especially the small business side of it, because businesses just like houses have a huge part to play in, in generational wealth.


[00:28:02] Jannese: Absolutely. So, the podcast is called, 'Yo Quiero Dinero.' It is a weekly show. We come out with episodes on Sundays, and we feature primarily women of color on the show who are investors, entrepreneurs...just basically changemakers.


[00:28:18] Jannese: So, people who are making waves in their community. And I think it was really important for me to just not have a show where I just have like, whoever on, because there's enough of that. There's enough of the mainstream conversations. What I really want to do with the podcast is highlight those voices who should be heard but are not being heard. And I think that representation piece is really what makes my podcast stand out because you immerse yourself in this hidden world of people who look and sound like you, who have your shared experience, who are first gen, who are millennials. Who are people of color and they're breaking barriers in ways that we don't see.


[00:28:57] Jannese: It's been such a rewarding experience because that's representation. And we keep coming back to that. It's the thing that makes people start to click in their minds, that this is also something I can do. 'If she did it, then I can do it.' And especially when it comes to entrepreneurship, I think I've seen that more than ever. I have so many messages from people that say, 'you inspired me to start a business or this podcast that you had made me take my business to the next level or made me start questioning if I'm still satisfied in this career, or it's making me think about starting a side hustle.' That is transformational stuff. And so being able to connect people with guides and resources and people who can inspire them on this journey, that's everything.


[00:29:46] Jannese: And, and entrepreneurship is such an important part of what I care to talk about because, as women and especially women of color, we have less than 10% of women owned businesses earning over a hundred thousand dollars a year in revenue. Right? And so, we know there's a lot of work to be done, and it's important for us to keep each other motivated because the journey is going to be long. But the more you see that it's possible, the less lonely you feel, and the more likely you are to continue to succeed and to push on when things get difficult.


[00:30:23] Mary: I thought that was such a crucial point and I love that you brought it up, because when we think about certain communities that start businesses - and really you could pick any community in your head and think about what kind of business would they start, and immediately something's going to pop into your head. 'Oh, it's this type of business.'


[00:30:42] Mary: 'And that business can only get to be such in such big, well, I don't want to do that because that's not what I want to do with my life.' And so, I love this point that you bring that - just like you said, representation and breaking that aside and saying, no, you can have these other types of businesses. They can be whatever size you can chase them to be.


[00:31:00] Mary: And to your point for the trailblazers, it is, you're building a trail and it's a mountain. So, like that's fun, you know, go get one of those weeds... hacker things, that's just what I envisioned. I was like, what are they? I was trying to remember what they were called. And so, for the trailblazers, it is such a journey.


[00:31:20] Mary: But that point, I think is so crucial because just even breaking that mold, that simple mold of, 'yes, you can be an entrepreneur, but you can be any kind.'


[00:31:29] Jannese: Yeah, I love that you brought that up because I think about why it wasn't something that I initially planned for myself. And I realized that the entrepreneurs that I associated with the Latinx community are hair salons or nail salons or bodegas, very mom and pop stores that felt like you had to work a long day, lots of hours for little pay. And for me, I was like, 'well, I don't want to do that. I see enough of that in my community.' But no, we can actually be digital entrepreneurs. We can be bloggers. We can be course creators. We can be social media influencers. We can be public speakers and freelance writers and all of these things that now I get to do.


[00:32:11] Jannese: And that's why I'm like, 'guys there's just so much potential for us, but we got to know that we can do it.' And so, you know, those conversations are critical.


[00:32:21] Mary: Yes. And just to, to plug a little bit here, there's so much money out there now. I think about, as you were chatting about that, I think about there's two venture capital firms that just immediately popped into my head, and they have this huge chunk earmarked for women of color. This huge chunk of that money that's just for entrepreneurs - for that because they want to see it. They're like, come on, show us what you can do, show us how we can add to this community and elevate yours. So, um, just to, to put out there to everybody, the money's there. Go get it.


[00:32:55] Jannese: And I think companies are realizing that they have to have people from the community to be able to adequately serve them. You can't just put, you know, a nice logo with like Latinx Heritage Month on your company stuff. And all of a sudden, you're doing the work. Because people don't want to hear from others who don't necessarily have their lived experience. That's the thing. And people see very clearly through the branded messaging that is just super inauthentic versus somebody who's actually working on behalf of the community and really wants to do the work to support them.


[00:33:32] Mary: 100%. This goes back to something you had mentioned before. And I just think that it's so necessary to recognize that the perspectives that people in places of power and that C-suite manager level, the perspectives that they have and form on the abilities of others. Not because those abilities weren't there, but because they probably weren't seen, or they probably weren't heard. And so - completely agree. So, thinking about this entrepreneurship track, we could go down entrepreneurship for ages. I love it so much. And the generational wealth aspect of it... What changes can somebody listening today do? Like, can they go support their friend? Or if they're like, 'wait, I want to start a business. I have all these ideas. What, how do I start so that my grandkids can be like, oh yes, we have a family foundation. It's worth millions.' So how, how can we jump into that and get started?


[00:34:26] Jannese: Yeah. Well, the great thing is that with the internet, the barrier to entry for entrepreneurship is I would argue at its lowest point ever. I started my food blog with a $99 hosting plan and my iPhone five. So yes, it was, it was throwback, and the pictures were terrible. I didn't know anything about food blogging. I didn't know anything about food styling. I didn't know anything about SEO, none of that stuff. But the power of the internet is that you can find out and learn anything you want. It's as simple as watching YouTube or searching on Google. I call it Google university, because you can literally learn whatever you want on the internet. So, figure out what it is that intrigues you, something that you could see yourself doing for an extended period of time. And then start finding out how other people who've already done it are doing it, right. Me as a podcaster. The first thing I did when I decided I wanted to start a podcast was downloaded an app on my phone and I started recording right to my phone.


[00:35:29] Jannese: That's how the podcast started. So, you don't need the fancy equipment. You don't need the perfect website. You don't need the branded logo. You just need to start; you need to figure out what is it that I am really curious about? What is it I'm good at? And that could be things that you're good at at work that you could see yourself turning into a business, or that could be things that are completely outside of your professional career.


[00:35:50] Jannese: Like for me and cooking. And follow those crumbs, because that is what led me to being able to take this thing full-time and that's what I tell my students too. It's just, it starts with an idea and then you got to start showing up and showing up consistently, and that's when things start to happen.


[00:36:09] Mary: I know that a lot of our listeners are, uh, um, in mid-level management or they are entrepreneurs that have already started to some degree. So, what can we say to that same question? How can we shift generational wealth? What would we say to that group of people that would be colleagues that are going up that mountain with you with the hacker thingy? Like what would we say to them? So that they would be supported and help push this forward.


[00:36:36] Jannese: Yeah. Well, I think there's this idea that if you've been in your career for a certain amount of time, like that's just what you're meant to do forever. And I walked away from a 15-year career when I decided to take my business full-time. So, it's never too late. If this is something that you want to do. I definitely want to put that out there, but generational wealth is something that we can all work towards, whether we're entrepreneurs or working a corporate job, nine to five. That starts usually with investing.


[00:37:05] Jannese: That's how it started for me. So, I was 22 years old when I started investing. I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I just knew like 401k. They said it's for retirement. I think retirement sounds cool. I don't want to work forever. So let me just do this thing. And that's where it starts for a lot of us. So, educating yourself on what you have access to, to build wealth wherever you are in your, that phase of your life, that's where you start. So, whether that's a retirement account, or if you have a family member who's talking about stocks and you're just like, 'Hmm, that sounds interesting.' Or if you have an entrepreneur in your family and you're trying to figure out, 'Hey, how did you start that business?' And those conversations are what starts to really pique people's interest.


[00:37:46] Jannese: If you are halfway through your career in mid-level management and you find yourself unsatisfied for whatever reason, you can decide to take an entrepreneurial journey, even within your own career. That could be creating opportunities for yourself at work that don't currently exist.


[00:38:03] Jannese: That could be pitching yourself to projects that are outside of the scope of your normal day-to-day functions. That's how we start to learn what we're capable of. And entrepreneurship is that it is literally just like finding problems and then finding solutions for them. And you can do that in any form or fashion in your life.


[00:38:20] Jannese: So, I don't know if that answers the question, but that's what I think, as far as, you know, how you start to build wealth, you can do it from any, at any age, at any level. And it's about really understanding what your options are.


[00:38:32] Mary: I think that - again, going back to that, that representation piece, and then combining that with entrepreneurial spirit, that's a beautiful nugget that I want to everybody to take away with because I think often to what you're saying and why it's so important and I want to highlight it, when we think of entrepreneurship, we think of either this crazy VC capital tech fund or the family member that started a business and we're very close to that. So those are the impressions we have. But what you're talking about is entrepreneurial spirit.


[00:39:04] Mary: And I love that because I think so often, we don't have the ingenuity or the idea to be ingenuitive in the career that we have. We might love what we do, but we're not being creative and taking the entrepreneurial initiative within that path. So that's something I really had to highlight.


[00:39:23] Mary: The last question I'll ask, and we've shared lots of nuggets to this effect. So, it might be - go back through and listen. But what would you want to leave everybody with? What would you want to say, 'generational wealth is important and here are my, my last pieces that I want you to hold on to wherever you might be in your life?'


[00:39:42] Jannese: Yeah. So generational wealth is transformational. It is freedom to choose the life that you want. It is freedom to live a dignified life, and it is the tool that you can use to literally take care of your family, if you want to. Take time off, if you want to. Take a career break, if you want to. Like that is the power of wealth. It really is about giving you options. And I think it's something that all of us can pursue.


[00:40:12] Jannese: And it's going to look different depending on who you are. Maybe generational wealth for you looks like having some real estate that you collect rent on and then one day you can walk away from your nine to five with that rental income. Maybe it looks like starting a business and scaling that to a place where you can quit your nine to five.


[00:40:30] Jannese: Maybe it's staying in your career that you love and just investing a lot of your money so that you can give your kids a leg up when it's their turn to go out into the world. There's just so many options. And that's the word that keeps coming back to me. It's wealth as options. And the more options you have, the more of a fulfilling life, I believe that you can live because you're not bound to relationships, to career choices, to living environment, to anything that doesn't feel aligned with who you are.


[00:41:03] Jannese: So, start learning. If you don't already learn about financial literacy, find somebody who's going to educate you. Who's going to empower you. Who's going to inspire you to do what you need to do to get to that place. And I promise you, like, once you're on the other side of that, you'll just wish that you learned it sooner because that's what I find a lot.


[00:41:25] Jannese: It's like, 'why didn't anybody tell me this when I was 18? I could have been a millionaire by now.' But it's better late than never. So, start today.


[00:41:32] Mary: Oh, I - 100. Oh, I'm about this. And I'd actually lied. There's one other question I want to ask. So, apologies. I'm a terrible liar. Something that, as you were speaking, I'm obviously, I mean, you can see me. No one else can, but like I'm as white as they come. I literally look like I burned for two seconds under anything that's like brighter than, you know, a lamp. Um, so. For your community and like having this conversation about Latinx and generational wealth, what do you wish we talked about? What did I not ask that, that I couldn't see?


[00:42:05] Jannese: I know, I think this is a great conversation. I just want to thank you for having this discussion because it's important to, uh, you know, use the platforms that we have in order to elevate the voices who are not being elevated. So, the work that you're doing, the work that I do, the work that so many podcasters do is using those platforms that don't exist, creating the space to have the discussions, and that's how we begin to change things.


[00:42:30] Jannese: So, I just want to say thank you.


[00:42:32] Jannese: I love it.


[00:42:32] Mary: Thank you so much.


[00:42:34] Mary: We hope you enjoyed listening in and kicking off this new season with us. We are always excited to share with our listeners topics and conversations we wish we had more often. So, as always, feel free to share with us what you really want to hear about. And, if you happen to be on Instagram these days, pop on over to the Global Thinking Foundation USA Instagram page for a giveaway to one of Jannese's amazing classes.


[00:43:00] Mary: It's an opportunity you don't want to pass by. We look forward to sitting with you next week as we talk more on entrepreneurship. Until then, stay safe, everyone. And let's keep creating spaces for change.