My Favorite Interviews of 2019

written by Bari Tessler December 11, 2019
Our favorite interviews of 2019

As a way to honor and close out the year, I am sharing some of my favorite interviews from 2019.

#1: Vicki Robin. Why money pioneer Vicki Robin’s classic work is more relevant than ever.

This year I had the honor of interviewing one of the matriarchs of the conscious money movement, Vicki Robin.

Vicki’s classic book, Your Money or Your Life (which has sold over a million copies) was one of my original money inspirations, and right now a whole new generation is finding even more reasons to love it.

Vicki’s money work is timeless and more relevant than ever … and it’s such a joy to share this conversation with you!

Vicki is a master at weaving together the micro (personal) side of money and the macro (larger economic systems). Plus, she’s had a fascinating life and is a delight to listen to!

Listen to my talk with the one and only Vicki Robin and hear:

  • How she lived on $5K per YEAR in the 80’s (and more importantly, WHY).
  • The practices I still vividly remember from her book – a wakeup call in a flash.
  • Her “10 mile diet” experiment and why she treats sustainability as an “extreme sport.”
  • Why she was (unknowingly!) named the “Eve” of the “FIRE” movement (Financial Independence and Retire Early).
  • The “macro” reasons why she’s had to update her money teachings for Millennials and the new economic realities (so important!).

Listen to the interview here.

#2: Alethea Cheng. How Alethea’s claiming her value as a mother and creative entrepreneur.

Alethea’s a multi-passionate, multi-talented woman, and it was a delight to get to know her better — and to hear all the reflection she’s given her money relationship!

She shares personal stories and insights about:

  • What it was like to leave her high-paying architecture career to pursue more meaningful work when her kids were little.
  • How motherhood helped her claim her own value — regardless of the paycheck.
  • How the money dynamics in her marriage changed when she stayed home with the kids — and how they worked through this.
  • The gifts and challenges of her lineage as a Chinese-UK-born immigrant and how they’ve impacted her money relationship.
  • The 3 “money mantras” she’s put on mental repeat — LOVE. THESE!

Listen to the interview here.

#3: Rachel Robasciotti. Money, meet social justice investing. This woman’s pioneering work blew my mind.

This year I had the honor of interviewing Robasciotti. Rachel founded Robasciotti & Philipson in 2004, an all women diverse team of Financial Advisors.

Rachel is a pioneer in the money field in many different ways. She’s a young, queer woman of color in a field that’s 68% male and 77% white. She became a financial planner at a very young age — so she’s simultaneously young and got 20+ years’ experience.

Perhaps most importantly, Rachel’s woman-owned, independent investment firm, Robasciotti & Philipson, is doing things SO differently: lower minimums to invest; integrating emotional intelligence into financial decision making; strategic investing to make major social impact. I am incredibly inspired!

Plus, their clients are 80% women, 70% LGBTQ, and 100% progressive.

Rachel also coined the term: Social justice investing. I was already intimately familiar with SRI – socially responsible investing. But social justice investing?! This is a whole new level of leveraging money for social change.

Hear this money pioneer’s “origin story” and how she’s using money for good.

You’ll learn:

  • The “money messages” she got growing up female, black, and poor.
  • Her take on the gargantuan racial wealth divide in our country.
  • The role money and “enoughness” played in her journey back to her heart.
  • Why she fired 25% of her clients (and never regretted it).
  • What RISE is: her impact investing platform and how they make financial decisions (SO COOL).
  • How she’s giving voice to people who don’t have enough money to invest financially.

Listen to the interview here.

#4: Patricia Escorihuela. Here’s what a decade of deep money work looks like.

When we started working together 10 years ago, Patricia didn’t even want to peek at her bank balance. (Oh, this is so common!!)

Today, she’s a living, blooming example of what’s possible when you pour love, mindfulness, and body-based awareness into your money relationship.

In this deep yet playful conversation, Patricia shares openly and vividly about how a decade of deep money work has impacted her life, including:

  • What inspired her to begin this work 10 years ago.
  • How money work has helped her forgive her challenging father.
  • Why she kept coming back to this work, even when it was tough (I love her metaphor of “little sips”).
  • How she’s claimed her value, let go of shame, and deepened her self-compassion.
  • How learning to get into her body has transformed her money, relationships, and career.

Listen to the interview here.

#5: Keisha Shields. How speaking her truth helped Keisha create a fresh money legacy.

I was drawn to this woman.

Even across a crowded California conference room, packed and bustling with hundreds of high-powered, charismatic women — I could feel her presence.

I wasn’t sure what it was about her, I just knew I needed to talk to Keisha P. Shields.

When I finally interviewed her recently, WOW. I was blown away — and I’m delighted to share our conversation with you today.

Keisha has done her money work, and it shows! She shares:

  • The REAL money issues facing her high-earning luxury branding clients.
  • Why she got brave and shared a truth she’d kept hidden — and how it impacted her income.
  • The money messages she learned as a black woman in the Deep South.
  • How she “chutzpah’ed” her way into earning $90K at 19.
  • What it’s taken for her to let go of the “good girl” money mindset and stop overgiving.
  • How she’s redefined legacy. (THIS is what made her stand out in a crowd of 100 women!)

Listen to the interview here.

#6: Saundra Davis. Money pioneer opens up about race, the wealth gap, and what real change takes.

While a lot of the financial world is riddled with judgmental, “tough love” approaches, Saundra and I are kindred spirits in ushering in a new wave of compassion, gentleness, and unshaming in this area of life.

I met Saundra almost 15 years ago at a meeting of Financial Planners. We were some of the only women in the room — and she was the only woman of color there. We talked chocolate and money and emotional literacy … and I’ve been a fan of hers ever since.

Saundra is a smart cookie and deeply spiritual woman. I’m so grateful she was willing to talk so directly and gracefully about some of the ways money is impacted by being black — particularly being a black woman.

Over the years, I have interviewed many women pioneers in the Financial Coaching and Financial Therapy world, including Olivia Mellan, Vicki Robin, Karen McCall, Deborah Price, and Barbara Stanny. But at some point, I realized: these were all white women.

I had a similarly embarrassing moment about six years ago, when I created my first Money Memoir series, in which I interviewed people from all different backgrounds about their personal Money Stories. I aimed for as much diversity as possible, and was able to welcome people of different ages, sexualities, and financial backgrounds — but it was still mostly white.

I committed then and there to creating the kind of inclusive interview series I wanted to see more of in the world. I’ve made it a priority to make my Money Memoir series and Art of Money Guest Teachers more inclusive and diverse. I know I still have my blindspots, but I’m committed to working on them — and to bringing more voices and perspectives to my community.

It was an honor to interview Saundra and to share important the work she’s doing in the world. After our interview, she sent me this note:

“I so appreciate your willingness to grapple with race, equity, and connection. I felt heard during our interview.”

I am very grateful for her trust in me. And I’m so thrilled to share her voice, her work, and her beautiful spirit with you!

We discuss:

  • How she found herself in a brand-new profession (Financial Planning) at 44.
  • Why she decided personal finance was THE way she could make real change, particularly in the black community.
  • How she brings the intuitive, spiritual side of her life into money coaching.
  • Intersectionality, the income and wealth gaps, how the women’s movement has been different for black women, and the problem with summits.
  • What everyone can do to support diversity.
  • Why money is so much more complicated than “if you know better, you do better” and how that impacts the coaches she trains.

Listen to the interview here.

Bonus Interviews!

These next two interviews aren’t from 2019, but we love them and the themes are still so relevant, we just had to include them.

#7: Theresa Reed. Can money be spiritual AND practical? This “Tarot Lady” shows us how.

Whenever I have something BIG coming up in my world, I call up Theresa Reed, “The Tarot Lady.”

There’s a reason she’s a legend in my entrepreneurial circles.

See: Theresa somehow makes deeply spiritual stuff — like Tarot and astrology and inner work — incredibly practical.

She’s focused. She speaks quickly, with purpose. And she finds a way to make the most esoteric predictions and guidance grounded, actionable, and clear.

I couldn’t wait to see if she brought the same balance of spirituality and practicality to her money life. And she did NOT disappoint!

We cover a ton of ground in this conversation. Listen in to hear:

  • Why, as a child, she decided she would “do money” differently than her parents.
  • Why she never fell into the “starving artist” trap.
  • How she’s “quite nerdy” about money.
  • How she makes money management feel meditative, calming, and creative.
  • How Money Dates with her husband changed their marriage.
  • How she uses money to get anchored in the present moment AND plan for the future.

Listen to the interview here.

#8: Danielle Cohen. Tender story: the financial triumph of a once single mother of three.

In this very special interview, Danielle Cohen — my sweet friend and personal photographer — shares the true story of a massive money initiation she just went through.

This is the first time Danielle has publicly shared this story, and I’m so honored she entrusted me (and you, my dear community!) with it.

You’ll just have to listen to this Money Memoir to fully grok its power, but here’s some of what Danielle shares:

  • How fear keeps us from asking for what we need (and deserve).
  • The “magical money thinking” she grew up with and how she’s facing it anew now.
  • How complex PTSD and anxiety impact her money world.
  • How she “did” money as a single Mom of 3 boys.
  • The HUGE money “dragon” she just slayed — and the lessons she learned from it. (So powerful.)

Listen to the interview here.

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