Neale Godfrey is the CEO and President of Green$treet Commons and Chairman of The Children’s Financial Network. She is also the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nearly 30 books empowering children and their families to take charge of their financial lives.
Neale started her career at The Chase Manhattan Bank, in 1972 and became one of the first female bankers in the industry. She then became President of The First Women’s Bank. While there, she noticed that her own small children thought “money grew on trees” and she then looked for books to teach them about money. There were none. So, Neale opened up a real bank for kids at FAO Schwarz in New York City and worked as a founding member to open up the Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship, in Harlem teaching underserved kids how to start a business.
- Who is Neale Godfrey?
Neale’s superpower is putting a shield up when dealing with rejection. She believes that the person didn’t really mean no, they just didn’t understand what she was trying to convey.
Neale always marched to the beat of her own drummer. As a six-year-old, she was already selling her neighbors their own grapes and known as the kid who went to school as a cowboy.
- How did you go on to lead adults through financial challenges?
Neale had been working since she was 10 but she landed her first real job after college at a bank. She decided she wanted to be the best and actually put together the biggest corporate merger in US history at the time.
The opportunity came by for Neale to be the president of a bank and it was at that point that she noticed the lack of money education for women and children and decided to do something about it. Her daughter called Neale out on her fear and she decided to write the book on the subject.
- How can you ignore the fear?
When dealing with rejection, Neale gives herself the space she needs to feel rejection and fear but after three hours, she picks herself up and attacks the problem. Analyze the issue and figure out solutions then give them a try.
- How do you view the entrepreneurial landscape today?
The barriers have disappeared. You have a voice and you can get it out there for people to hear. You have the device that can create the media that can spread your message. The trick is getting people to listen to you.
When it comes to books, no one is going to push your book for you. You have to develop your community and really hustle on every platform you can access.
Keep going. Try to really define the market and really differentiate yourself. Create the need in your market and don’t be afraid to create something that’s better.
- Why teach kids about money?
Neale takes what seems to be daunting and makes it simple. We fight more about money than any other topic, once you understand the basic pieces of the puzzle you take the emotion out of it. Once you separate the business side of your life and take the emotion out of it, it’s much easier to approach.
Stop making it the biggest secret in the family. How do you expect your kids to be good with money if you never talk about it?
- What should parents teach their kids about money?
The number one rule is that money has to be earned. Teach your kids how to earn, save, spend, and share. Show them your bills and the consequences money has on your family. Explain how the budget works and what it means.
Put a schmutz sticker next to the areas of your house that cost energy or money and get your kids involved.
- How do you manage your time?
There is no such thing as work-life balance. If you are doing what you love you are extremely lucky. Be present in what you are doing in whatever it is. Stop complaining and put in the work.
Reference: Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children, Neale Godfrey
- Neale’s Takeaway
Lower the noise of the people surrounding you who are saying you can’t do it. If it’s you, stop saying that. You need to have the goal and the vision and the tactics to get there. The number one reason entrepreneurs fail is they only see one way to get to success. You have to be able to pivot and be agile because the world is moving too fast. Articulate your needs to the people who support you and if you’re not waking up sweating in the middle of the night occasionally, you’re not on the edge. If you can’t handle it, maybe you need another job. The only real failure is not understanding yourself.
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