I’m incredibly lucky and grateful to be in Switzerland, to have a good job, and to be able to work in a female NGO as a PWG. Even if I would not always say that is luck, but rather hard work, I’m still very grateful.
Thanks to all my activities, I have the unique opportunity to meet incredible people. This is what I thought when I listened to Patricia Allen, CRPC® at the AWE summit in October 2018. Her interview with Tulia Lopes took my breath away. She shared with us some glimpses of her story, such as how she became a financial advisor while starting her life in the U.S. welfare system.
Even the cold hearths like mine could not be more moved by her journey.
I took the opportunity to have an exchange with Patricia Allen and decided to buy her book Welfare To Wealth- The Money Story I Never Wanted To Tell . You don’t always have the opportunity to meet a best-selling American book author every day.
When I started to read her memoir, I could not put the book down. Patricia’s story seemed unbelievable at first sight: starting her life on welfare in the U.S., becoming a mother at a very young age, and obligated to stay on welfare when her husband left her for another woman – she decided a life in poverty was not for her. She and her children deserved better than that. Thanks to her strength and determination, she graduated, found a job, developed her career in different ways, and she finally found wealth. This could be the epitome of the American dream, right? However, while reading her book and interviewing her, I understand that wealth is so much more than having life economically secured.
I start the interview by asking why the book is called “The Money Story I Never Wanted to Tell”.
Patricia: “Before publishing the book my past life in welfare was a secret. I never wanted to speak about it. I don’t dwell in the past – I think about today, I live for now and the future. But I need to come to terms with my past so now it is public and I’m okay with that.”
Reading the first part of her book makes it obvious that her childhood and young adult life are extremely sad. Despite being raised with 6 siblings, she is constantly alone, and she had to survive traumatic situations without the help of anyone. Not wanting to spoil her story, I warn all gentle souls who want to read Patricia’s essay to take the reading with that precaution in mind.
Her life as a single working mother of 2 kids is absolutely challenging. When she was a flight attendant with United Airlines, she traveled the world and had to sustain her children at the same time. Through the book I noticed how all her decisions are dictated by the willingness to be independent and to be able to sustain her family with her own hands.
P: “I was born to be independent. I have always made my own decisions, and I had no one helping me figure out what to do. I quickly realized that I was my one resource of strength. I had to keep moving, I could not stop.”
The Financial Advisor
Patricia’s extraordinary career path brought her to become a wealth advisor for women. Her life experience, together with financial training, certificates, and hands on experience make Patricia a unique wealth advisor for women. She not only advises on how to invest the money, she coaches her clients on more profound concepts of wealth.
P:“Wealth is more than money, and women are more related to purpose and close totheir values. I can teach investing techniques, but this is only one aspect of your life. What will be your life when something happens and you are not able to work? What about others around you? Money is important and being able to secure it is even more important. I help women to create a lifestyle wealth plan- a safety net for them and their family.”
When Patricia describes to me the process she uses to work with her clients, I recognize the fundamental elements of the coaching approach. She starts by asking why women want to invest money in the first place and what they wish for their future. Very quickly though, her first sessions go very deep and are very personal, and what starts with a discussion about investing becomes an introspective journey.
P:“Wealth is not only about money, it is about being self conscious of your strength, your values, opening your mind and heart, understanding how to live your life on purpose with passion.
“The source of wealth is within you – you decide what is valuable to you and how much – it is you that holds the capacity to act to generate it.”
I’m fascinated by this discussion and continue to ask questions. It is night in Zurich, the kids are asleep, and for once I don’t have to rush. But in the U.S. on the east coast Patricia has some working commitment to attend. Being Patricia another woman who wants to help other women, I allow myself a last question: what’s her ultimate goal?
P: “My goal is to revolutionize women’s relationship with their money by guiding them to step into a deeper level of their power to change the way they think about money and creating wealth”
Meet Patricia Allen a working mother who found her way out of the welfare system and who is committed to helping other woman to find wealth as she did herself.