Welcome to my four-part blog series, Leveraging Your Financial Capital into Freedom, based on my podcast with financial planning guru, Stacy Francis. First, I would like to introduce myself and provide a brief overview of what I hope to accomplish throughout this series: Helping Individuals in or post-Divorce Find Their Own Greatness and Leveraging Their Capital (ideas, money, and relationships) into Freedom.
Matrimonial Law Found Me
I like to say that the practice of matrimonial law found me.
When I was in third grade, I decided I wanted to be a psychologist, businesswoman, and lawyer. I wanted to listen to people and help them to solve their problems. Little did I know that, all these years later, the stars would align, and that I, the granddaughter of a South Carolina sharecropper would become a Manhattan matrimonial lawyer, helping people solve their problems, i.e. divorce, custody, and finances.
My story truly starts right after college graduation. I graduated in May, and like all “good” southern women, I married my sweetheart in June. I was hired by Citibank and over 22 years, I rose through the ranks of Citibank, GE and Bank of America to become a senior level banker. In my 12-year marriage, we enjoyed the American Dream: a nanny, a house, two cars, fulfilling careers, “2.5” wonderful kids, and 2 dogs until the abrupt end.
As the expression goes “it was good until it was not”.
Three weeks after the final demise of the marriage, I discovered that my ex-husband had completely financially wiped me out. I had no choice but to seek short-term public assistance for groceries to feed my boys.
I learned a hard, but extremely valuable lesson, through this experience. Life can be unpredictable and not having money can put you in a vulnerable situation. This is why it is important for all people to keep an eye on their money…no matter what their household setup is. If you are a full-time stay at home parent, you must know what your partner is earning, and where those earnings are going.
We all owe it to ourselves and to our children to be financially responsible. We even owe it to our communities, because just like I found out, oftentimes our communities end up taking responsibility for us when we fall.
We cannot afford to be deceived by our own optics. In my mind, I had the American Dream. In reality, my American dream was a house of twigs that easily blew down when the storm hit.
I Found Financial Stability and Achieved Financial Success
Over the following years, I had to claw my way out of the abyss of financial ruin to support my family, and I did just that. I found financial stability and achieved financial success.
At the ripe age of 42, I decided that I made enough in banker bonus money. I decided I wanted to go to law school. Your only limitations are the ones that you have placed on yourself, and I was ready to pursue my dreams without limitations.
Over the next three-blog posts, I will share my tips for others coming back from the financial divorce abyss:
- Find your passion(s) and relentlessly pursue it.
- Tap into your higher self or higher power. Lock in with faith and “dwell in possibility”.
- Listen and learn. Others have done what you want to do. Listen and Learn.
Coming back to read Part 2 of this 4-part blog post of the Leveraging Your Financial Capital into Freedom is your first step to achieving success and fulfilling your life purpose. In Part 2, I will share the Three Tenants of Success that Have Made Me a Successful Matrimonial Attorney and Entrepreneur.
Until then, my call to action is to:
- Work Hard
- Keep Smiling; and
- Never EVER Give Up.
Mia Poppe, Esq.,