Kate Erickson is the star behind the star of EntrepreneurOnFire – the top-rated podcast interviewing inspiring entrepreneurs 7 days per week.
After growing up in San Diego and going to college in San Francisco, Kate decided to move to the exact opposite side of the country – to Portland, Maine. However, after a few years, she found herself back in southern California enjoying her family and the perfect weather.
Finding Her Passion in Work:
Kate dove into banking in the early part of her career. She was able to help her bank with their marketing efforts, and found something that she loved. Then while earning her graduate degree, she landed her first gig at a Marketing & Advertising agency.
As a Sr. Account Coordinator, she started to learn everything she could from the owner of the agency including everything that goes into success marketing, advertising and branding campaigns. And this yearning for wisdom has helped set her apart throughout her career. If you have a good resource or mentor possibility, take advantage of it!
Kate continued in the Marketing & Advertising field, until finally deciding to jump ship and join the team at EntrepreneurOnFire. There, she and John Lee Dumas have created a beast of a business that has revolutionized the podcasting world by offering a 7-day a week business podcast.
At EOFire, Kate is the Content & Community Manager. I have worked with Kate as part of Fire Nation Elite, and can tell you that she is the real deal. She posts regularly HERE, and is someone that I always look for to get great and honest advice. She’s built up some excellent Marketing skills and knowledge over the years, and is now applying that to the online world.
If Kate had to do it all over, she would NEVER tell herself that she “had” to take a job. She would have been much more creative during her career transitions.
Instead of spending all my time and energy searching for a company who would hopefully hire me, I would have started searching for how I could create my own opportunities.
All of the successful entrepreneurs say this exact same thing. In our school system, we are taught to work hard and go get the best J.O.B. that we can. But that isn’t acceptable anymore. You have to go create the right work, or at least go find your passion. Don’t “take” anything, make it!
Definition of Wealth:
As with most of us, Kate’s definition of wealth has changed substantially over time.
“As I started taking higher paying jobs and learned how to budget and start saving money, I realized that wealth isn’t just about money. Wealth is about knowledge and experience, and how you use that knowledge and experience to continue to be better in every area of your life: not just literally with money and how you save and invest it, but in your relationships, and in your work. Being able to write your own life, and to feel fulfilled in every one of these aspects of your journey, is what wealth means to me.”
After you get to that first stage of wealth where you aren’t merely trying to survive, your focus tends to become more towards the other things in life – knowledge, experiences, “the journey”. As Kate suggests, it never really ends. It is a process.
Success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.
Biggest Financial Failure:
Before gaining this new view of what wealth really is, Kate did what so many people do – she built up credit card debt.
Kate got her first credit card while in graduate school, and wasn’t really focused on budgeting or building wealth. She was working 2 jobs and just trying to get by, but the debt built up to where she realized that she could not pay it off. So, she eventually met her biggest financial failure.
“I finally had to tell my parents that I needed help, which was a major financial failure for me. My parents taught me a lot of amazing things about money and the importance of saving, so to have to go to them and admit that I had failed to practice what they had taught me was really tough for me. It resulted in having to move out of my apartment and into a shared living situation that I hated, all while continuing to work 2 jobs to pay off all my debt.”
Admitting defeat is the hardest thing to do. But it is also the first step towards recovering.
The major lesson that she learned here was “if you can’t pay for it with cash, then don’t buy it.”
Her story offers such great advice. With very few exceptions (see: real estate), you should never buy something that you have to buy on credit. The way to wealth is simple: bring in more than you spend. If you spend more than you have, that will not get you to wealth.
People do not think of credit as “real” money. Per a Dunn & Bradstreet study, people spend up to 18% more when paying with a credit card versus if they pay for cash. This is huge! If you have a problem with this, get rid of credit cards and pay with cash for everything.
And don’t forget that you pay interest on any balance of your credit card. 20%+ per year adds up quick in extra fees.
The Best Financial Advice:
“Aside from “If you can’t pay for it with cash, then don’t buy it”, then it’s probably advice I received from my dad about 401k’s. He always taught me to ALWAYS match the company. Because of this advice, throughout my various carriers in banking and such, I was able to build myself a sizable retirement account without having to do anything but sign a piece of paper.”
I’ve asked a bunch of very successful leaders and entrepreneurs what action young professionals need to take now, and the most popular answer is exactly this. Take advantage of any “free money” that you can. Getting a company match is the best way to grow your retirement funds, and it adds up fast. I’ve been fortunate to have an outstanding company match in my retirement fund, and grew that retirement account to well over six figures in only a few short years. Again, it adds up quickly!
Best Book on Money & Wealth:
Kate suggests a book that I also highly recommend – The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Eker. “Taking a look at wealth and how we actually think about it is an important mindset shift that needs to happen for a lot of people.”
The mindset is the most important thing to develop for most of us. I know for me personally, I had to completely shift the way I think about money, wealth and success. We are not taught to think the correct way about these topics. The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind is a great way to identify and improve your mindset.
Also, check out: The Differences In Mindset Between the Poor, Middle Class & Wealthy.
How to Grow Your Wealth:
The best way to grow your wealth, per Kate, is to never stop learning. “Whatever it is you’re passionate about or that gets you fired up – whether it be your work, your family, your relationships, your own self – just keep learning about how you can become better at whatever it is.”
This is such great advice! The only thing that you can do is improve. It doesn’t matter where you start, you can only improve. If you have this mindset, to never stop learning, you will improve and improve until you have the wealth and success of your dreams.
One Thing to Do in the Next 7 Days:
“Start a budget – literally record every penny that comes in and every penny that goes out. I never thought I needed to do this because all I had to do was pay my rent and buy groceries. Once I did create a budget for myself, I was shocked to see all of the things that I actually spent money on. This really helped me get my finances in shape – quickly.”
As I always say, you can’t fix what you don’t know. And you really have to look at your expenses first to see where the money is going. Then, you can make a plan to improve it. The equation is simple: money in vs. money out. To build wealth, you have to increase the money in and/or decrease the money out. Starting a budget helps you handle the latter.
Connect With Kate:
As you can tell, Kate has the mindset that will surely make her a Future Millionaire Next Door. If you haven’t seen her work on EntrepreneurOnFire, or throughout the social media world, my guess is that you will. She has such great knowledge and experiences, and the mindset that will bring her an abundance of success.
- Create your own opportunities, as Kate suggests. Don’t settle or “take” a job. Create your dream job.
- Find passion in your work. While in banking, Kate found that Marketing was where her passion really was. This changed the direction of the rest of her career. What project or industry makes you tick? Go do that.
- Make sure you are capping out any retirement matches from your company, if you have that option. This is the easiest way to grow your retirement funds, and you can usually do it with tax-advantaged accounts.
- Read Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and find out how you need to think to become a millionaire yourself.
- Follow Kate, and her sage advice!