EP45 Helping Women Navigate Through EntrepreneurshipCheckable Health
Financial independence opens up possibilities for our future, giving us the means to invest in our goals. Money equals options, and whether that means putting it towards another business venture, donating it to charity, or spending it on a great pair of shoes, women especially need this freedom to take control of their lives.
During this episode of Persevere Podcast, host Patty Post of Checkable Health talks to another impressive female founder, Leslie Kuster. Leslie is the CEO of Back from Bali, a women’s clothing brand that is thriving in the competitive arena of e-commerce.
Leslie shares that first spark of an idea that started her entrepreneurial journey and how she expanded Back from Bali to become a multiple seven-figure businesses. Get a notepad ready because she has a ton of tips for scaling your business, making to-do lists, and investing in personal growth.
It’s Leslie’s self-belief and adherence to her core values that have helped her succeed, and she uses her experience to guide women through their own journeys. Tune in and let her inspire you, too!
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Leslie’s path to entrepreneurship
- Founding and growing her first apparel business
- Back from Bali and breaking into e-commerce
- Inspiration for her book
- The decision to end one business in aid of the other
- Leslie’s business philosophy and personal values
- How to successfully take notes and write to-do lists
- Why women need financial independence
- Learning from our money stories
Find out more about Leslie Kuster on her website: www.lesliekuster.com
Get VIP access to her upcoming book, “7 Keys to 7 Figures: The Women Entrepreneurs' Guide to Money and Freedom,” at www.lesliekuster.com/book.
Learn the 7 mistakes women entrepreneurs make and what you should be doing instead in Leslie’s free eBook! www.lesliekuster.com/7mistakes
Connect with Leslie:
Connect with Persevere Podcast:
Find Patty Post:
This episode was produced by Podcast Boutique http://podcastboutique.com
0:00:02.7 S1: Welcome to The Persevere Podcast, powered by Checkable Medical and hosted by Patty Post, a female founder, entrepreneur, wife, and mother of three, doing all of the things. The strength to persevere in business is powered by passion, grit and hard work. The Persevere Podcast is for entrepreneurs and business leaders who set out to innovate and change the world with their ideas. Whether it's fundraising your startup, product development, marketing, branding or scaling your existing business, this podcast is for you. We'll discuss everything it takes to persevere and build the business you've always dreamed of. Let's make it happen. Hello everyone. This is Patty Post, your host of The Persevere Podcast, and today my guest is Leslie Kuster. She is a business coach, and she is also my favorite. She's a founder, her company is called Back From Bali, and she founded the company after an amazing trip to Bali, and when she got back home, the story unfolds. And that's what we talk about today is how her story unfolded, and also how she's used her own story to create a program for coaching other women to help them move through entrepreneurship.
0:01:34.8 S2: And then she has a book, and her book is called 7 Keys to 7 Figures: the Ultimate Guide to Money and Freedom for Women Entrepreneurs in 2020. And everything that comes out of Leslie is just positivity. She's so smiley. If you're watching this on YouTube, you definitely see that. But she just has so much energy, and it was like, I loved hearing her because she almost was clairvoyant about her decisions. It's like if she felt friction in something, she was not going to do that, she was gonna go this other way. And it's a way that she was able to go from five figures to seven figures of an e-commerce business through hard work and determination. And she also did a pivot in the style of clothing that she had done from kids clothing and then moving to women. So what she brings in this podcast for me was just really educational and inspirational as well. And I think you guys are really gonna like her personally, but then her brand, because we know when I say Back From Bali, you think, Bali and oh my gosh, what beautiful colors and what are these textiles? And so I encourage you to go to her website and then of course, buy her book. So we're gonna be giving away one of her books, 7 Keys to 7 Figures: the Ultimate Guide to Money and Freedom for Women Entrepreneurs.
0:03:06.1 S2: So I'll be doing a giveaway of that, and of course, Leslie, thanks for joining me. I hope all of you get some great nuggets out of this and of course, feel inspired.
0:03:19.1 S1: When did you start? I started probably 30 years ago being an entrepreneur. Yeah, that's when I started. So I started... The story basically is that I was working in PR in New York City, and I was working in corporate. I was running a PR for some big brands like Sony, for example, and a bunch of things happened to me personally, I had my apartment was robbed, which really sucked at the time, but the result of that is I got some insurance money for the things that they stole, and that gave me the impetus to quit my job and to jump on an airplane and go to Indonesia and do something I always wanted to do, which was to travel through the beautiful islands of Indonesia. And I had the money to do it, I had the time to do it, and I jumped on a plane and just did it, and that was in my early 30s, so I've been an entrepreneur for a really long time.
0:04:18.5 S2: Wow, how amazing. So you realized that the money that was used to replace those items, those items didn't need to be replaced, and you took a life leap, and you created a life through exploration and then your business, Back from Bali.
0:04:37.9 S1: Well, what I did is, I went on the trip and I was traveling for seven months, and then I needed to return back to New York, which is where I was living, and get a job, because I had been away for seven months. I say I'm back, what am I gonna do? And I started looking in the newspaper, which is how you found jobs back then, looking in the newspaper, and I’m turning the pages there, and I'm scrolling down and there's like, there's just not one job I wanted to take. And I had one of those lightbulb moments where I remembered this beautiful handmade clothing I had seen when I was traveling during those seven months in Bali, Indonesia, and I just asked myself the question which changed my life, which was, I wonder what would happen if I went back to Bali and bought those clothes and brought it back to the US. I wonder. And that is how I became an entrepreneur, was by asking myself that question
0:05:40.6 S2: And Were you obsessed with it? Tell me about that part. So you asked that question, and then how long, would you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it? I love that early part of an idea. Yeah.
0:05:53.4 S1: I was sitting on the bed with the New York Times in front of me looking through the job section, I then had this idea like, Wow, I saw this beautiful clothing in Bali, Indonesia, they were children's clothes, and Indonesia is really famous for making batik, which is a type of fabric using wax and dye, really colorful with moons and stars and all kinds of animals on it, and I just remembered it and I thought, what would happen if I did this? What would happen if I jumped on a plane and did it? And I just... I took out a calculator, I punched in numbers, how much it would cost for me to fly back, how much would it cost for me to stay there, how much would it cost for me to bring it back and then how am I going to sell it. And then I thought Oh, New York has a lot of street fairs and markets, how much do markets cost? What do I need to buy for the market? Well, you need a table, you need a chair, you have to hire a van, all these things, I just started punching numbers and how much I thought I could sell things for, and I realized that there is no way I wasn't gonna make money, unless the goods were stolen. There was just no way. I would make money, and with that, literally within a week I was back in Indonesia.
0:07:14.8 S2: What?! Oh my gosh. That is so cool. So you went right, right back. That's the biggest mistake, is people sit and they wait too long at the edge of the building, sort of... Right, or the edge of the cliff. What did your family say? I don't know. You’re like, I didn't ask permission.
0:07:38.1 S1: I’m trying to remember, this is like 30 years ago. What did my family say? I think, you know my parents are both entrepreneurs, so this is... I didn't come from a family of corporate workers and people who stuck in jobs and things like that, so I came from a family where my dad was an entrepreneur, my mom was an entrepreneur, and so it would be more encouraged to do something like that than not. So it wasn't really a matter. I see you asked that question, and because most people have maybe doubts, like should I do it or maybe I shouldn't, or what would people think or what will my family think? I didn't have any of those thoughts because my only thought was it was either this or it was getting a job in New York City again, and I didn’t really need to discuss that with anybody because the idea of getting a job again was so awful to me that the other idea of taking this risk and a chance, and doing something I had no idea if it would work was my only option. Wow.
0:08:40.1 S2: Do you remember that feeling? I love how you are, you remember this seven-day time frame. Do you remember that feeling that you had, was it excitement? Was it optimism?
0:08:53.1 S1: Yeah, it was exciting and fun and adventure, and it meant I got to go back to this country that I fell in love with. It meant that I got to try something new. So to me, like I said, I did some homework, I took that calculator, I punched numbers in. It’s not like I didn't know what I was doing, I realized that this would work unless it was stolen, that was the only way it wouldn't. So the risk to me was, I didn't really see the risk at all, it was just pure excitement to do something like that. But what I didn't know is how it would sell, you know. I didn't know if anyone would love the star jumpers and rompers for babies. I didn't know that. So that was what the surprise part was, would it sell? Would people wanna buy it?
0:09:43.8 S2: How did you sell it? When you started out. Yeah.
0:09:46.3 S1: So there were street fairs in New York City, so I registered for a street fair, I bought a folding table, I schlepped the stuff in a taxi cab, I threw it on the table, I had had no sales experience at all, I'd never sold anything. It was not what I did in public relations before, and my mom had sales experience, and so she helped me that day because the booth was attacked, literally attacked by women screaming and grabbing things and wanting them, and I was completely overwhelmed by the interest. And at the end of the day, I think it was like $800 cash in my hand, and I was like, Whoa, this is really fun. And I think I did another street fair the next day, and then I needed to go back to Bali 'cause I could see it was gonna be sold out really soon. And so that's what happened and so I went back again
0:10:46.4 S2: And then you had enough to probably double or triple your amount of inventory, brought it back. Yeah, started small.
0:10:55.6 S1: Started small like that, I brought more back... I went back, made relationships. I made relationships with a manufacturer there, where she was really manufacturing most of this kind of clothing I loved. So I started making relationships. Making relationships with how I'm going to ship it back, UPS. So you start step by step by step, very small steps, but you start that way. And then there was a time where I didn't have to go back, that I was able to, through connecting at that time was really through fax actually, that I could make orders, and then it just sort of grew. And then I continued to do markets and street fairs, and holiday markets and all of that for a really long time. And I also did wholesaling so I was selling into large department stores. A business I don't recommend at all, wholesaling. And that is kind of how the business grew and just took off from there, and then the product line changed. And I changed the product line completely about 11 years ago and left children's clothes and then went into women's clothes. So my product now is called Back From Bali, so I manufacture women's Bohemian-style clothing and manufacture everything there, bring it into the US and sell it primarily on my website and on Amazon, so I'm 100% e-commerce.
0:12:24.7 S2: And you are seven-figures successful in e-commerce and Amazon business, which is so hard to break into e-commerce. Hats off to you. And then you did a pivot. Why'd you do that pivot 11 years ago from children to women, what were you seeing there? I just wanted to wear the stuff. That makes sense. I like it.
0:12:49.3 S1: That's why, you know I was... I did children’s and it was really cute and adorable and all that stuff, and I really, I loved it and enjoyed it, but had been much more interested in the kind of women's clothes that I was finding in Indonesia and in Bali And I just thought, you know, why don’t we start doing women’s? Why don’t I start bringing in the clothing that I love to wear. Their embroidery work that they did there, the batik work also that they did for adults. I can wear that and I could wear that, and this is so cute and this is so comfortable, and I bet other women would love this too, and I just really enjoyed fabrics, I enjoy touching them and feeling them, and going to fabric stores and buying the fabrics and working with the vendors. And one of the beautiful things about working in Bali, Indonesia is that I don't work with any factories, and I work really only with very small businesses, and normally, they're just women-owned actually. Wow. And I love that part of it as well. So everything is ethically made in Bali, and as the business grew and grew and grew and grew in the last few years, I started to do more consulting and I started to really kind of help other women entrepreneurs answer the questions how do you build a successful business? And how do you build a multiple-seven-figure businesses? And that is the reason why I wrote my book, which will be coming out this Fall, which I'm really excited about.
0:14:23.8 S2: And that is... So in 30 years, you've had... You've built essentially two different categories of business and then launched them in e-commerce, and Amazon. Created two different brands, and then now a book. Now, you're an author. And your book What inspired you to write a book?
0:14:50.1 S1: Because I had all this knowledge that was just sitting inside of me. Because my story kind of in a nutshell is, even though I've been an entrepreneur for a really long time, like 30 years, I've only been, let's call it a successful entrepreneur, really for the last I don't know, eight years or something. Nine years or something like that. And so as of 10, 11 years ago, even though I had my business and even though it gave me some money, it gave me a lot of freedom, and it gave me a lot of values that I have that I love, it just was not giving me really financial success. And got to a point in my early 50s where I felt like, you know, Leslie, he could be doing better than this. I knew I could be doing much better, I could try harder, I could be smarter, I could learn more, I could want more. And I made a really conscious decision that I was gonna build a business and be really successful and make lots of money, I just decided that was it. Yeah. And that's what I did. And so I changed the product line early, a little bit earlier than that, but I really started implementing all of these activities and ideas and action steps, and mindset and ways of doing things, and then it brought me to where I am now, which is a multiple-seven-figure business.
0:16:18.1 S1: And so a few years ago, I started to think, let me share with other women entrepreneurs really how to do this and what the steps were that I did to take it and look, I did it in my 50s. And so you could do this at any age, it's not like you have to be 20 to do it or 40 to do it, you could be 60 to do it, it's just whether you want to do it, and that really is step number one
0:16:45.0 S2: So inspiring, Leslie. I hope someone's listening to this and it's like, Oh my gosh, I've always wanted to do this, and that they realize that it's their own self-limiting talk that they're telling themselves is the only thing standing in their way.
0:17:02.1 S1: I mean, what you just said is more true than anyone can possibly imagine, because it really is truly the secret of success is whether you believe you could do it or you can't. Henry Ford, “whether you think you can or you can’t, either way you’re right.” And it is so incredibly true, and that was really my experience, was making that decision that I can and that I wanted to.
0:17:31.4 S2: So tell us about the book, who’d you write it for and can we hear about it so then we can get on your pre-order list?
0:17:38.0 S1: Yeah, that would be so great, wonderful, the book is for really any women entrepreneur. Ideally, it will help most women entrepreneurs who already have started their business in some way, who maybe haven't even hit the six-figure mark. Maybe they're doing 20,000 a year, they're 50,000 or 70,000 a year, which was what I was doing at that time as well, and they're feeling kind of frustrated like, I don't know how to do this, I don't know if I can do this, I don't really know exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm not sure this is on that kind of person who could do it. Someone who is really questioning those kind of things and who have a burning desire inside of them, and maybe it's even a secret burning desire to be more successful, and that's who this book will really help. I use a lot of personal experiences, like for example, at the time of this big decision that I had, which was like, I'm gonna be successful and that's it, I'm gonna make more money, I actually had two businesses at that time, I had my Back From Bali business, which is what I still have, and I had a business called Girl Power, and it was an empowerment program for young girls that were 7 to 13 years old, and body image and healthy eating and all kinds of stuff. And I loved that program and that business as well, and it was also somewhat successful, it did under six figures, but it did okay. And I was running both businesses at the same time.
0:19:18.1 S1: And what I realized when I made that decision that I was really gonna be successful and make everything work, I realized that the reason why I wasn't was because I was multi-tasking, and when you focus on one business, that starts to go up and rise, fantastic, and then the other business starts to go down. And then I would run to the other business and I would start getting more clients in this, and then the Back From Bali business would go down. And this is a really common mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make and women entrepreneurs make, which is this idea that you think you can really multitask and do two businesses or many different things at the same time, and that's probably one of the biggest mistakes. So I realized that in that moment, and I just decided I would stop the Girl Power. Well, I didn't know which one to stop, to tell you the truth, and that was another... But in stopping one of them is what gave my business the fuel to succeed. Smart. Yeah.
0:20:27.2 S2: Did you physically feel something when you made the decision to stop Girl Power? Yes. Did you? Tell me about that.
0:20:36.1 S1: I did, I did because in my head, I thought Girl Power was more spiritual, it was more helpful, it was positive, and Back From Bali was materialistic and it was just stuff basically. So this is what I was going on inside my head. So I thought, Well, I should definitely stop Back From Bali and I should definitely just do Girl Power, 'cause I very much believed in the values of what Girl Power was about, but I felt deep in my gut that it was Back From Bali that I should continue with and I should not do Girl Power. And I realized that my gut, which is really the truth, was saying to do that, but my head, which is much more to do with my ego, was saying Girl Power, and once I decided to stop Girl Power, and this all by the way, all of these decisions happened in a matter of maybe, I don't know, 20 minutes or something like that, sitting at my little desk in our old little apartment in Zurich, Switzerland, which is where we were living at the time 'cause my husband is Swiss, I made the decision to stop Girl Power and it felt...
0:21:48.2 S1: I got chills up and down my spine, I felt like there were angels in the room, literally singing Hallelujah and yelling, what took you so long?
0:22:01.1 S2: That was how it started. And then you knew it was right. You have to have a feeling like that when something like that happens. Thanks for sharing that, you're such an intentional woman. I love that you have these vivid memories. Yeah.
0:22:19.3 S1: I do, I do. These are moments in my life that absolutely changed everything.
0:22:26.9 S2: Transformative is the word that I used. Yeah. Transformative moments for yourself. So do you have a system that you follow in your book, like a system that you follow with business, or tell me about your business philosophy or system.
0:22:44.4 S1: My business philosophy is to take a lot of action, is my business philosophy basically. Is to get clear on what your goals are and your intentions are for your business, and then to figure out what the inner action steps and the outer action steps are that you need to take. For every action, it really has to come from the inside first. So inner action steps will be like visualizing things or working on your mindset and believing in yourself, and feeling your success and imagining what it is that you wanna create or whatever, even number you want it to be in terms of what kind of sales numbers, and to really bring that to yourself. And that I call that like the inner actions. So the inner actions need to be done and then the outer actions need to be done. And the outer actions really need to be written down, and I very much believe in physically writing things down with a pen and a pad, not adding it to your computer, and really structuring out a piece of paper, it doesn't have to be fancy, what it is that you are gonna be working on for Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, and then making those action steps for each quarter. So I like to be very organized, very intentional, I like to have a lot of work on my mindset, like beliefs, what I think is possible, and then take the action step, so that very much I would say is my philosophy.
0:24:25.1 S1: And also, I've always been very clear about what my values are and what my personal values are, and what it is that's really important to me. And because of that, and because I'm very intentional about what those are, I feel that I've been able to follow my feminine power and my feminine insights, because I'm not really following how it's supposed to be. Or who thinks it's supposed to be. For me, freedom has always been my most important value, so business decisions will always be made, is it getting me freedom? Do I still have the time to do the things that I also wanna be doing? These are the questions I ask myself a lot, and then I'm able to help steer my business to keep it aligned with my values.
0:25:20.6 S2: That... I just feel like I've known you forever. These things that you're saying, I so agree, once I decided what my core values were, my personal core values and then my company core values, every big decision that I have had, do they line up with my core values, and if they do, then it feels right. If the decision is off of that and it feels off, then I know that it's not the right decision and I can move on faster. And when you talk about those quarter goals, I really love hearing you say that because I think so often we get like, Oh, what's gonna be in a year, two years, three years, even five years? And make projections together. It's like, Gosh, I just feel like I'm making stuff up, right? You essentially are because that plan never really works as a five-year plan, but it is so logical and yet so often we don't follow it. And as women, I think that... I like that feminine power and the intuition, it sounds like you just have really embraced that from the time that you decided to go back to Bali, when you're looking at those ads to get another corporate job, you followed it.
0:26:44.6 S1: But it wasn't because I knew exactly what I wanted to be or do or have. It's not like I am going to be a fashion designer. It wasn't from that, it was from so clear about what I didn't want anymore, that I didn't want a regular job, I didn't wanna work in corporate, I didn't wanna be tied to a nine-to-five thing, I didn't wanna have two weeks vacation, I was so clear with what I didn't want, at the time I didn't really know what I wanted instead, but I knew I didn't want that. And that was what I was gonna go after.
0:27:21.0 S2: There's something that... So I write everything down in a notebook as well, and you're right about being intentional about your brain and muscle memory working together, and your brain doesn't know what you're writing down, but when you're writing it down and then you tell yourself, then that's when... It's a lot more intentional than just writing it on a computer or your notes on your phone.
0:27:50.2 S1: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And what I like to do with mine is I write it every day. I have one side of the sheet that is just for personal stuff to make doctor's appointments, and the right side is all my business. And then at the end of the day, what I do is I rewrite everything onto the next page too. So I find that also somehow you're like for the things you didn't do or something that you... It's almost like you're embedding it even more into your brain or into your hands, that it really will get done, so I think the rewriting of it and bringing it over to the next day and re-writing it over and over again, gives you kind of control over it sometimes. And another tip I have regarding the writing is a lot of times people are like, what am I supposed to do on this to-do list because it's really long...it’s this, this, this, this. I always tell clients to circle the thing that's gonna make you the most.
0:28:51.5 S2: Make you the most money? Yes, like the activity that you wrote down, identify it, circle it, which is it that's gonna make you the most money.
0:29:02.8 S1: That is what I mean. And you have a whole big to-do list and then it's like, well, which one do I do first? And just ask yourself which of these is the thing that is going to make me the most money.
0:29:15.8 S2: You’re very disciplined too. Yeah, I guess I am. That takes a lot of discipline to do that. I haven't heard of writing it down and then writing it again, so do you have, do you have it scheduled in your day that you're like every day, 8 o'clock?
0:29:31.9 S1: When I do it well, I have it scheduled in my calendar. Then I put it into just a... I just use the Mac, the calendar on the Mac, and then I schedule it in. And when I do that, then I really get a lot done that day. So that's the most successful thing, is that I have my to-do list. I have my lists physically on paper, and then I schedule those things into the calendar. And that is one of the keys to success actually, is that one, you have that in there to literally schedule it in from 12 to two, you’re this, from four to seven, you’re this. And it's almost like you're following a guide, otherwise, you're checking your email and you're doing this and you're doing other things, but when you look at your calendar and you're like, Oh, I only have 10 more minutes to finish that. You get it done. And I'm always amazed at how much more I get done when I do schedule it. It's a ninja trick. It's actually incredibly powerful to do that.
0:30:34.7 S2: I love hearing that, 'cause I need to do that. I need to do better at it and I need to have that quiet time. And I think the word manifest is overused, but I do believe in that, but it could be prioritization too, of just looking at it and then it's gonna become habit, and you're gonna think about it more, especially when you write it down twice a day. For sure. Exactly. I thought this was an interesting question that you had here, and it's really something that I think we struggle with as women, and that is the first question on there was, why is it taboo for women to say that they have money or that they want money, and going back to you saying, circle that thing that's gonna make the most money. Tell me about that.
0:31:27.6 S1: You know, women, we wanna be liked is really one of our main desires and to be in positive relationships with each other and other people. And talking about money, saying you want money, being a money person, being into money, telling people you really wanna make a lot of money is not really considered a feminine trait. Feminine trait is more like if I'm gonna make money, then I'm donating it to charity, if I make money, I'm gonna be using it for my child's education, as if making money and buying a $1000 purse is not valid or is not good enough, or that's not like me. So I really would like to throw that up in the air and destroy these ideas, because the truth is, without women having their own money, they actually have no control over their life at all, like none, zero. And money really gives women complete independence, and to be independent means you really are, you are the captain of your ship, and you can really...In order to financial independence, you have to make money, and if you are like, Well, I love what I do, but the money is not that important to me, or I love what I do, but I'm not a money person, if you really approach your business like this, first of all, I really question if you’re telling the truth.
0:33:01.8 S1: When they say that, I think it sounds nice, but I don't really think it's what people really believe or want. They want independence, they want money, they want control over their lives, they wanna be able to buy what they want and donate to what they want, and give to the charity that they want, and then they could use their money in any way they want to. Even including giving it all away to help people in Africa, but unless you have it, you can't really have any of those choices. And women, we need to really stand up and yell and scream that I love money and I want money, and I am proud of being a woman who could make money and have money, and this is what's important to me. Rather than presenting as someone who... I'm not really a money person and I would do this job even if I didn't make money, and all this wishy-wash crap. We have to be very independent. The world is a mess, as we all know, and we have to make choices in our lives; the educations we give our children, all of that takes money. And I am encouraging all women to be an entrepreneur, if that's something that they're drawn to with the intention of making some money as well, so they can really...
0:34:27.0 S1: Live the life they want. Because without it, you can't.
0:34:30.3 S2: Sometimes we just need permission from someone like you to have... Accept those feelings that we have, and I think hearing you say that right now just makes me so happy because when women get money then women can start a venture capital fund and we can invest in other women or women... You become successful, you can run for a government office and you can take part in making decisions for women's health or women's education, and so money is very powerful. And if we don't acknowledge that, and if we don't accept that that is what's driving us, then we're gonna continue to not have a seat at the table. That's right.
0:35:20.5 S1: And control over your own life and your ability to be able to leave a bad situation if you're in one. All of these things. I was just talking to someone that had worked with me in the past, and she's always been working for herself, and she's now in... Got married and she's in a really bad relationship, and she said to me just today, Oh my God, I'm so happy my mom raised me the way she did, because if we do get divorced, like it's not gonna affect my life at all financially, whatsoever. And I have a lot of friends who have married well, but they have no access to the money. There's no access to the money, and they don't really know where it is. Maybe their bills are being paid, or they're given the money to pay for groceries or credit card bills are being paid, but they don't actually have money. And they're in potentially bad relationships for themselves and they don't wanna give up their lifestyle. And I see this over and over and over again, and not just with women my age, but all women, young women too, because there’s still this belief system that marrying someone who can take care of you is like a really positive thing, and taking care of yourself and just focusing on that is not really seen always as a positive thing for all women in all society. And this needs to change for the reasons that we're talking about, because without this independence, we can't really make our own world or anyone else's world any better.
0:37:00.7 S1: So it starts with really embracing money and understanding money is not bad, and it's not even good, it's just completely neutral. It's just a means of doing something is all there is, but we have very strong money stories, and if anyone wants to really start diving into this whole topic, it starts with the question, what is your money story? And your money story is what is it that you learned from your parents or the people that raised you regarding money? What did you hear all the time? You know money doesn’t grow on trees, or rich people are greedy or whatever those stories are, make sure you marry a rich guy, what were you taught? Because whatever you were taught or you heard over and over again is your money story. And the trouble with them is we begin to think they’re our own money stories, we think that they are our ideas, our beliefs, our values, and they're not. They're actually value beliefs of those who raised us, or society. And we need to get really clear on what our own money story is and our own money beliefs. And just to give you an example, I grew up with “marry rich guy,” and this and that, and so that it’s also...
0:38:24.4 S1: Why it took me so long to become successful because I kept thinking, Well, why do I have to do it? I don't really have to do that, it is not kind of... He's gonna do all that. So why do I have to do that? And I don't wanna give up my life and I don't wanna give up my yoga classes, I don't wanna give up my... I didn't wanna give up my down time, you know, that's his job. That's what was how I grew up. That was my own money story and my own beliefs. And one day when I was sitting in that chair, I was like, why do I think he has to do it? And I just started to question all of this, and I thought, I think I'm gonna do it.
0:39:02.8 S2: Yeah. Awesome, and you did. And I did. It is a simple thing. I had a very similar way of my upbringing, and then I can be the one that works. Why is that so bad? And I actually witnessed another woman, she was in healthcare, and she was getting promoted and her husband ended up staying home, and she just loved what she was doing. And from everyone else, they were like, Oh, isn't it such a bad thing that Tom had to quit his job and it's like, well, no. Wouldn’t it have been a bad thing if Michelle couldn't have taken the promotion because she had to travel and someone had to be with the kids? So I don’t really get it like that. So it's all about everything that I hear you saying is, How are we talking to ourselves? How is this perception of whether it's risk, whether it's money, whether it's opportunity. And you have such a grounded... You're so grounded in your thinking. I'm not surprised that you're so successful, Leslie. Thank you. And so calm. Thank you.
0:40:17.5 S1: And I just wanna remind you, your listeners, I wasn't always. It's not like I was born like this. I'm talking about my 20s not like this, 30's not like this, 40s not like this. And it was really in my early 50s that all of this changed for me. So I think it's also important for others to hear is a lot of times people think, Oh, they're successful because of something that I'm not. That people think that and it's not really true. So yes, really anyone can do this. It's really very possible. Get clear what your values are. What is it that you really, really, really want and make it happen because you can. You really can. There's so much help out there.
0:41:04.7 S2: So I'm inspired to read your book. I can't wait, I hope I can get an early release. I love to read, I’ll put it on my July-August book list, if that's when you'll be ready with them. But others that would like to get on your launch list, tell us your URL and how to find it.
0:41:23.7 S1: Yeah, great, thank you so much. So the book will probably be out this fall, but I will have an early launch list, and now you can just go to my website, which is my name lesliekuster.com, and I have a great free ebook, which is really helpful, which is Seven Sabotaging Mistakes Most Women Entrepreneurs Make, just sign up for that, get the free ebook, and then you will also be notified about the book and I would love your support.
0:41:52.5 S2: Oh, that sounds so great. What a great activity to do with a couple of your girlfriends who are like-minded and to have your alone time to fill it out, but then create your own group if you can, if you are blessed to have friends that are like-minded, but that sounds like a great exercise too. Yeah, thank you. I love the gift side of it. Yeah.
0:42:19.0 S1: So definitely check me out there and then also you could find me on Instagram at LeslieKusterOfficial, and Facebook and LinkedIn and all those places too, and also on my website, I've done... There's a lot of blogs, there's a lot of videos, there's a lot of free content for women entrepreneurs who need the inspiration, don't really know what to be doing, what are the steps involved, so definitely check it out because there's lots of free stuff there.
0:42:48.9 S2: Excellent, it's beautiful. You have really put your heart into all of these resources for women, so thank you so much, very inspiring. I personally am inspired, so I'm like, I'm not successful like you are in this area, I aspire, I have lots of aspirations in that area, I love talking... It's okay to talk about money and you wanna be successful, and then to give back and okay, here are some ways that you can think differently, so thank you very much. Thank you for joining us, Leslie. It's very nice to meet you. Same to you, Patty. All the best. Thank you, have a great weekend. Well, that was just a fantastic episode. If you want to be an early adopter and you love the Persevere Podcast, I really encourage you to come over to LinkedIn, I created a group where we can continue the conversation of these podcast episodes, but also let's create a community. Let's connect with one another, whether you're raising money, whether you're scaling your business, whether you want to throw out a business idea, business model, come over there and let's talk about it. Thank you so much for tuning in and until next time, you keep on persevering in business.
0:44:05.1 S1: Thank you for listening to The Persevere Podcast, powered by Checkable Medical. Head over to perseverepodcast.com for notes, links and additional resources from today's show. To continue hearing insights and gaining knowledge from those persevering, succeeding and making their dream a reality, be sure to subscribe through your favorite podcast app. Now go make it happen.
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