Our focus on Women’s Money Talk is to share stories and create conversations about money. One area we are excited to start focusing on is female entrepreneurs! These women will share stories about themselves, their relationship with money, and why they’re excited about running a small business. You’ll learn more about some wonderful women and the passion they have to be their own boss!
Tell the Women’s Money Talk readers about yourself!
I’m Amanda Page. I’m 43. I’m single. No kids. Two dogs. I live in a city in the middle of a state in the Middle West (Columbus, Ohio.) I earn an average salary as a full-time professor of scholarly writing. Seriously, if you Google “average salary Columbus Ohio” you end up with a number pretty close to mine. Also, I have no consumer debt and I paid off my student loans on Valentine’s Day in 2016.
How did your interest in entrepreneurship start?
Growing up in a small town in southern Ohio was an education in socioeconomic politics. My family was first generation, lower-middle class. My mother was an elementary school teacher and my father was a career firefighter who always had a side project. My dad dabbled in real estate and opened a car wash and then sold it. He also owned a few gun stores throughout my life.
I grew up knowing you could make extra money doing extra work. (What we might call side gigs or side hustles now!)
When I was in 4th grade or so, my dad bought my friend and I a Badge-It. We turned my former playroom into a workroom and designed batches and batches of badges to sell. The deal was simple: we’d sell enough badges to pay him back for the cost of the badge-making device and original batch of materials. We never sold any badges, but I learned an early lesson about start-up costs.
My family’s money situation influenced me greatly as an adult. They knew how to use credit, and when I was 22 years old, they helped me apply for my first credit card. I remember once being at a friend’s house, and my mother pulling up to get me in our new car, and my friend’s mother saying, “What bank did your family rob?” Later, she called my mom to ask how we were able to have what we have, and my mother helped her apply for credit, too.
When it was time to pay for college, there was a lot of stress, and weird messaging. I thought it was being paid for, but eventually, I needed to pay off a significant amount of student loans. All of these experiences played various roles in shaping my money mindset. I had to unlearn a lot of negative messaging, and really think through the employee versus entrepreneur stories I internalized.
Tell us more about your education and career path.
I earned an MFA in creative writing several years ago. I’m currently an Assistant Professor of Scholarly Writing & Humanities. I’m a writer of creative nonfiction, and I’m an on stage, contemporary storyteller.
What do you think is one of the most difficult money or career challenges for women?
I think the most difficult money and career challenge for women is self-worth. I know so many women who struggle with imposter syndrome or have a hard time negotiating for themselves. We’re not socialized to ask for what we want – or believe we should have that. A more confident mindset is life-changing for a lot of women, myself included.
I really had to change the story I told myself about what I was capable of AND what I deserved before I could earn enough to make a real difference in my life.
For instance, I had this story I told myself about how I had no follow-through. I used the Badge-It as an example in that narrative to prove to myself that I had a long history of no follow-through. The fact that I didn’t sell enough badges to pay back my father was somehow still influencing how I thought of myself as an adult. The truth is: I learned follow-through. It’s not fixed. You can practice it. And I did, by paying off my student loans.
What’s one thing you’ve learned about money that you can you share with our readers?
You need to know where your money goes. When you know how much fat is in your budget, you know how to cut it. Spend on what you value and if you find yourself feeling guilty about it – stop! Money is meant to be used.
Emergency funds are important and debt freedom is great, but so is investing in yourself. Even the money I spent to start Dream Beyond Debt (my former blog) was money I was investing in myself and my future.
You are worth the investment. Bet on yourself.
What does your work-life balance look like and how do you stay healthy?
I’ve got terrible work-life balance. I’m always working either for my teaching gig, my creative writing, paid writing, blogging, or doing something for the arts organization where I run literary events. I stay healthy by walking my dogs, spending time with my dogs and my friends, and avoiding sugar and alcohol.
How would you help a good friend who struggles with money?
I try to model good financial behavior, and I encourage like crazy. Since I put so much of my financial life on the internet, my friends are a lot less scared to ask me questions and trust me with real numbers from their own finances. I’m happy to talk things through, recommend resources, and remind them that they can.
Remember that money isn’t evil, and you’re not bad for wanting more of it. When you have more money, you can give more freely. The world needs more people who have healthy relationships with money. You can be one of those people.
What is your small business and how did it get started?
My creative writing and blog are side jobs but here’s what I am really excited about! I’m starting a business to coach writers, bloggers, and small business owners to tell their best stories, elevate their mindset, and reach their potential.
One component of my business will be hosting retreats for writers! The first retreat is set for July 6 – 13, 2019 on the Isle of Skye – just west of Scotland. That’s right – Scotland! If you are looking to infuse some magic into your creative life, then join in!
We’ll talk, we’ll share, we’ll laugh, and we’ll write. You choose the project. You’ll leave with a new understanding about yourself as a creative, and you’ll have a plan for becoming the next version of yourself as an artist (and that includes entrepreneurship) that you’ve identified while on Skye.
Read a little more about the retreat here. I’m incredibly excited and I’ll be sharing more about the Isle of Skye Writing Retreat soon!
The Women Who Money team appreciates you sharing more about your work and how you got excited about becoming an entrepreneur! We look forward to following your progress on your new passion project, Amanda!