Hi, and welcome to the Daring Elite Podcast. I’m your host, Lori Phillip. I’m so excited to dive into this week’s episode with you. This week we have a special guest on the podcast. Jen Sippel is here. Jen is the C E O of U Utah Wealth. Jen and I discuss how she started to break out of the expectations that shaped her into being an overachiever most of her life.

How the cultural norms and messaging around women and money have held women back financially and what you can do to feel more empowered with money. Let’s dive in.

Jen Sippel is the C E O of U Wealth. And is on a mission to help women become more financially confident and empowered. She is a recovering overachiever who overcompensated financially after living with a mother who struggled financially after divorce, her drive to succeed, curiosity and ability to problem solve, to help propel her success in financial services, winning awards, and often being the only woman leader in the room.

Jen believes that every dollar we touch and how we send it out to the world is shaping both the world we live in and the one we aspire to. Every woman deserves to do it intentionally and with confidence. Welcome to the podcast, Jen. Thanks, Lori. I’m happy to be here. Yeah, I’m happy to have you. I have so much to talk to you about, and so we might as well just get started and I was telling you how typically.

I start with my guests talking about their career leap and with you, I would love to talk about a personal leap that you’ve been coming through, uh, over time and that is what in your bayou talked about recovering overachiever. Will you tell me a bit about how that came to be and how it’s going? Yeah, sure.

I love it. We are just gonna dive right headfirst into the pool. In 2020. It was a rough year for a lot of us. It was a particularly tragic year for me. I lost my 36 year old sister. Mm-hmm. And she has a daughter, my niece, who is autistic, and we didn’t know that she was autistic until, um, after my sister had passed away.

I had helped her get her diagnosis and I became a caregiver for her. So in that journey of both for me, grieving the loss of my sister and taking over care for my, my autistic niece, the huge personal leap that I’ve made is just how all of us are unique individuals and we have unique individual needs.

Mm-hmm. And for my niece who’s autistic, she struggles with verbal communication. What was interesting about helping her and being part of her caregiving team is that with her needs, she has a hard time articulating the needs. So we have to help her find ways to communicate those needs. And then recognizing for her that throughout her life there’s going to be people who can meet her needs, and there’s going to be people who cannot meet her needs.

Mm-hmm. And just being a part of that journey for her really has. It. It has kind of forced me to look in the mirror also and say, wait a minute, like what are my needs? And just recognize over the last couple years how many things, how many things that I’ve done, and how many just everyday behaviors I have that weren’t intentionally meeting my needs.

They were like meeting the expectations of everybody else. Mm-hmm. And I think that’s so much my prior overachieving. So growing up as an overachiever, How did that manifest for you? What, what did that look like in, in how you were, how you were being growing up? It mostly meant I had to be the best. I had to beat the competition.

Mm-hmm. Uh, I got straight A’s. I got an A minus when I got an name on it. I just like, I thought it was the end of the world. I cried and thought I’m gonna have to drop out of this class or something. So just tra I got, if I didn’t hit every promotion, every bonus, if I didn’t finish things at the top of my class, it was a huge disappointment for myself.

And I think that, that knowing that knowing that I wasn’t gonna be happy unless I was number one, really narrowed the things that I tried. Mm-hmm. I didn’t try things that I didn’t think I had a, at least a good possibility of being on the top decile at. Yeah, that’s an interesting point because I think that was similar for me in a sense where it’s, if you are used to being good at things mm-hmm.

It, you’re typically unwilling to try things, you think you’re gonna have to start from scratch on, or maybe you don’t know, you’re not the expert, and how do we break that mold? So you grew up. With this really high intense pressure on yourself, and it wasn’t until 2020 where you started to notice what mm-hmm.

What that pressure was and hey, maybe there are needs that, that I have. Mm-hmm. Um, so where are you now with this? Now I’m in a really fun, fun place where I often pause and ask, what am I doing this for? I think the most fun thing really is that, is this something that I want or I need? Yeah. Wow. And I’ve been exploring, I’d say it’s only been the last six or 12 months where I’ve really been exploring what are things that I.

I find leisure in what are things that I find pleasure in? What are things that I find joyful? Instead of always being oriented to what can I accomplish and what can I get done? Um, and that, that’s really simple things. I’m gonna sit and, and enjoy some quiet time on my couch for 15 minutes. Instead of that 15 minutes being, oh, I can start the dishwasher and start the, yeah, the laundry machine, right?

And clear off the table. I can get this checklist of tasks done in that same 15 minutes. And I also don’t spend that 15 minutes on the couch feeling guilty about all of the things that I could get done right. I genuinely enjoy the leisure. That’s a big part of it. Even if we’re relaxing sometimes where feel guilty that we’re not.

Checking off all the things to do on our to-do list, especially if it’s right in our face dishes or the house or whatever. Um, that is, that’s really come a long way. One of the things we were talking about in our last, we had a pre-conversation was a bit about cultural norms and expectations. Do you feel you became this?

Way in, in trying to achieve because of cultural expectations or family expectations. Um, in looking back on it, how do you think this kind of came through? Hmm, great question. I, a couple things come to mind as you ask. That one is, yes, it was very much culture, cultural expectations. I think we’re. What can we accomplish?

What can we optimize? Like our whole culture is around ranking things. Mm-hmm. Right? And optimizing things. And so there is a first and a last to most of the things that we talk about culturally, especially finance, the world that, that I operate in. Love to quantify things and, and things like leisure and pleasure and joy.

Those are, there isn’t, you can’t rank those. Those are for things that, oh, I, these things are pleasurable for me and these things are not right. That’s not gonna be the same for everybody. But the other thing that was really interesting about that realization with my niece, just checking in on am I meeting my own needs?

Was just noticing how much, even in our household, or my husband is amazing, he does a hundred percent of the grocery shopping, all of the meal planning. He does at least as much childcare activities than I do. Taking the kids to doctor’s appointments, all those kinds of things. From the outside, you could say that we very equal, equal obligation, right?

Mm-hmm. To caregiving and household duty. But what what was interesting was one of the nights where our little ones was, was needed something in the middle of the night. Right. They got up in the middle of the night and I remember he was annoyed and we all get annoyed occasionally. Yeah. But it, it occurred to me, it occurred to me in that moment how there’s not a lot of expectations for him in society.

To be meeting anybody else’s needs. So again, if he gets up, he’s like a hero dad that you got up in the middle of the night with your kid. But it’s an expectation as a mom that I’m the one getting up with the yes. Not a hero if I do it. It’s just the expectation. So it was just interesting to see, oh, the entire, our entire culture is geared to meet his needs and it’s geared for me.

To forego my needs and to be meeting everybody else’s needs to be meeting my kids’, needs to be meeting his needs, right? To be meeting my clients’, needs to be meeting everybody else’s needs, but not to be oriented around my needs at all. So those are just a couple ways that has showed for me. Yeah. Yeah, that’s so interesting.

And what came up when I was listening to that is one of the core reasons I believe that so many women are burned out. Right now. Yeah, because we, what we’re doing is we’re trying to achieve more, and we’re, from a career perspective, we wanna go to that next position or build a business, but we are also raising our families.

We’re also doing all this other stuff. And it can be exhausting, especially if we’re not taking the time to even consider. Asking ourselves the questions you were talking about, what is it that I need, what would be joyful for me? I mean, I don’t, I, I, I will tell you that those types of questions did not come into my even mind until the last few years.

Just not even a thought. Yeah, and I, I hadn’t previously really thought about it from a cultural perspective until we were talking about, you’re right, that does make a lot of sense. Much of the imbalances in workplaces, in, in career fields. Now, there’s a lot of the data that shows if you’re in the meeting room in a mixed gender room, that it’s going to be.

Much higher likelihood that the woman in the room is going to be asked to bring the snacks or the treats, right? Mm-hmm. Or to run and grab coffee. Those kinds of meat, those kinds of things. Right? So it’s, oh, we need something. The expectation goes to one gender more than the other. Yes. Yes. It comes up to, in our our thinking, we talk about unconscious bias and some of these things, it’s just, People a lot of the times aren’t intentionally, not everybody, some of them are, but a a majority of of people aren’t trying to be, oh, well she’s the only woman in the room I’m gonna ask her.

Right. It just happens and it’s just the it the way we’re wired and it, that’s how deep it runs in our culture. Yeah. One, one of the things I wanted to talk to you about, because you’re a money expert, is. How does societal norms play into how we as women handle our finances? I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

Yeah, so many ways. It’s just so many ways from a really high economic level, a lot of the biases that you just brought up contributed to our entire economic system. So the language we use around money. How, how we use money, how we define what’s good with money and what’s bad with money, how career fields are paid.

What’s been documented that biology was a highly paid field until it became more, more women were biologists than men, and that’s when the pay stagnation in that field. Came into play in professions that are large. Representative of women are, are paid less than in caregiving roles. Teachers, caregivers, nurses, uh, aren’t paid as well as if they were were dominated by men.

So, It was built that way, right? It was designed that way. So all of that kind of plays into today into how we experience it today. I often work with people who say, I like meeting with a financial advisor was like worse than getting dental work done and things like that. It’s just painful, right? Like yeah, they’re condescending, they’re talking over my head, like none of it, even the stuff that I can’t understand isn’t really that interesting to me.

And I think that’s because there hasn’t been a lot of women representation in the field of finance. There’s only less than 3% of all money managed, so people who manage mutual funds and stock portfolios, only 3% are managed by something other than generally a white man. Mm-hmm. The 97% are managed by men, only 3% managed by something other than a white man.

So there’s not a lot of representation, and because there’s not a lot of representation, there’s not a lot of other voices, all of the conversations, products, frameworks, action items, right? Our, our, all of that messaging is geared more for a male audience, not necessarily by design, although I have had some statisticians say in order for representation to be as low as it is for as long as it has been.

It has to be biased by design. So there’s some, there’s something to be said for that. Yeah. But that shows up for people I work with in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of women who come to me and say, I should be better with money than I am. I’m, I’m bad with money. And there’s articles that show women’s messages to about money.

Tell us that we’re bad with money. It isn’t. It’s actually not empirically true that women are any better or worse with money. In fact, there’s lots of empirical evidence that women are better investors than men. Um, but the messaging we get about money is that it’s not our place and that we’re bad at it.

Uh mm-hmm. Uh, and then again, a lot of the predominant conversation is what’s the best rate of return you could get? And I, very few people are really interested in. Rate of return alone. That’s just a few things. Yeah. That’s so interesting. And somehow not surprising, unfortunately. Right. And a lot of the, the topics we talk about on this podcast, there are a lot of societal and cultural sort of norms and, and, and really strong rooted systems.

That are gonna take a lot, a lot of time to shift. So what we focus on is what can we do as an individual? What is in with our control to shift the situation for ourselves? And that’s where empowerment comes from. So how, how, what do you recommend to our female audience on how can we start to shift the way we, we look at money, handle money, what can we do about it?

I love it. I am a huge fan. You mentioned bias, kind of bias fills in the gap anywhere. We aren’t intentional with our actions. So as much as you can be intentional with your money, be intentional. For a lot of people that’s, that is a lifelong journey. That’s not something that happens overnight. So the first thing I would say is, step one is increasing your awareness.

So wherever you are today, just become a little bit more aware of what’s happening in your financial life than you were yesterday. One of the easiest ways to do that is just log into your phone app, near your bank, app on your phone. Log into that one today, and just bec just become more aware of what’s happening with my money on a day-to-day basis.

It could be week to week or month to month, but just step one is increasing the awareness. Step two, I love systems. So I love if you can just, one of my favorite hacks, one of my favorite systems is that all income, wherever it comes from, self-employment income, W2 income, all of your income goes into a savings account first.

So you deposit it into a savings account, and then you move from savings into a checking account how much you wanna spend on a monthly basis. Mm-hmm. Even if you only leave $1 in that savings account, that’s a mechanism to eliminate bias. In your brain, you say a hundred dollars goes into the savings account, 99 goes into the checking account to be spent.

You’re still you. You can still tell yourself, I’m a saver. You’re saving money. Mm-hmm. And then when it comes to raking those bigger systemic issues, always just look for opportunities to where you’re investing, where you’re saving, where you’re spending. Look for opportunities to be directing that money.

Two things that are important to you. I truly believe that when women become more aware and intentional about how they use their money, we’ll, we will have a healthier world. And so even it doesn’t have to be investing in women directly, but as long as we are actually raising our awareness and being more intentional with where it’s going is gonna be better for everybody.

Mm-hmm. Those are some really solid tips for sure. I hadn’t considered this idea of I’m a saver and doing it by having your money going first into savings. That’s an interesting shift. Um mm-hmm. I’m curious about what your thoughts are on with, I think as women, because of culturally, we also have not been.

Kind of raised in such a way where we ask for what we’re worth in pay and that there’s a little bit of a stigma of a mindset around money for women and how, what have you seen with that? Do you have any perspective you could bring forward to our audience on that? Yeah. Yeah. There I, I think that some of this comes from.

The, the economy we are experiencing today, like I said before, is built by men. So women were intentionally excluded from participating in it for, for hundreds of years, if not thousands of years. So it’s only been relatively recently that we’ve had. Similar or the same access to money, and I think that that means moms and daughters aren’t talking about money the same way that fathers and sons are.

Mm-hmm. We don’t have the same language around it. We haven’t had the same access to it. All of that’s relatively new and I think that shows up in kind of our general money mindset. We also have society that tells us, by paying us less, that you’re not worth as much. Mm-hmm. The the things that I think mechanisms, again, that help with that.

One of my favorite things has been to remember that money is a resource. And so when I think about money as a resource, I’m like, oh, when I’m buying something or when I’m investing in something, I’m asking, is this something I wanna a resource? So do I want whatever I’m giving my money to, to become better resourced and bigger?

So that could be like Amazon purchase. Do I wanna resource this? I’m like, yes or no. Or do I wanna look for a local shop in my neighborhood? Do I wanna resource that shop? Then yeah, that answers a little bit easier. So that’s one kind of mechanism I like. Another thing is when it comes to asking for raises and, and being a little bolder with that, I don’t like the word earn.

So how much are you earning? Mm-hmm. Uh, instead, replace that with value. So how much value am I providing and. I think for a lot of women, when you frame it as value, we’re exchanging our value, our time, our energy, our expertise. Mm-hmm. Our perspective, our experience, our education. When you’re exchanging that, not a company, it could be a big company, a small company, this is what I’m, I’m bringing value and I want in return, right.

I’m getting a paycheck. That should be commensurate value, so stop thinking of it. Less like, oh, earning more whatnot. Did you provide more value? Are you providing more value than your peers? Are you providing more value than or could you provide a different company more value? Or will that company value you more than the company that you’re currently at?

If you frame it that way, it might be easier to ask for the raise or ask for more money, or ask for commensurate income. Yeah, I, I, I like those shifts. And really what came to mind too is for some reason when I had previously really thought about money, it’s been around, okay, so I have a salary. How much am I saving?

How much am I investing? How much am I spending? And you’re just looking at what to do with the money that’s coming in. And I, I would love a shift in people’s perspectives and one that came to me. Is around, I actually can bring in more money and I, it’s, it’s not about Nickling and Diamond. I’m not gonna get my Starbucks every day, or I’m not gonna buy the shoes I want or the bag I want, or whatever it is.

But if you actually want a lifestyle that’s different, the most powerful thing you can do is to go get more money. Whether it’s. Asking for a raise, finding a promotion, getting a different position at a different company that values you more. Yep. Starting a business there. There are so many ways, and I just don’t think that we’re trained to think about these things.

Back to our previous conversation, it didn’t dawn on me that, oh wait, I could just, not that it’s super easy to say I could just make more money and it flows in, but it has to be an intentional thought. And an idea before it could happen. Yes. Yeah. I love that. I think you cannot, you cannot expense your way out of Right.

A lifestyle. So you can’t save the, the money on the, the coffee or whatever the case is. Like that lever, you can only save on expenses so far. Right. Even if you take the basics and the shoestrings. So, and this goes for business too, right? And as a self-employed person, It doesn’t take a lot of skill to when you’re running a business to cut expenses.

It takes a lot more skill to identify what are the levers, what are the things I can invest in that are going to lead to more generation and more revenue and more profit, right? Those, that is a much better skillset to have. And same goes for our personal lives, and I think so much of the money, again, so much of our challenge around money is that.

Money is quantifiable, right? We can measure it. Like you said, we, we, the income comes in and then we budget. This is how much I save, invest, and spend. But value is subjective, right? So like, yeah. While money, money you can objectively measure value is very subjective. And I think that that difference too is so much of our, our money challenges.

So you value a certain lifestyle. Then you need to be able to afford that lifestyle. You need to say, what can I bring? What value can I put out in the world so that I’m generating that income, that supports that lifestyle and that lifestyle could look very different person to person, right? Mm-hmm. As you were talking, saying, how can I go out and generate more income?

Because it’s a great question, and asking that question is the first step in generating more income. But there are some people like, what I really value, is there a way that I can pay this number of bills, right? This kind of lifestyle. And work this many hours, fewer hours. Yeah. And that’s a whole different value set.

Yeah. Yeah. I, I love that value set. I was actually, I’m trying to work fewer hours and get paid more for it when Yeah. And I, it’s not something I don’t, I thought about too much until I was really thinking it through. It’s when you trade your hour of your time for money, there’s, there’s a cap and. And so then you try to figure out how to create something of value that you can s scale.

But I mean, we don’t have to go into that here, but your, your point is well taken. It, it always stems back to deeply thinking about what you really want. Each person has their own unique set of. Things that they, they wanna do, accomplish what they love, what they value. And until you take the time to figure that out for yourself, it’s hard to then have a conversation around, okay, the next step.

Cuz you have to decide and at least, yeah, start thinking about it. Yeah, and I think back to your point about bias. We get up to 10,000 media messages a day. And most of them are telling us that we are deficient in something, so we need to buy their product so that we’re not deficient in that thing. So 10,000 times a day, somebody else is asking you to value something.

So it’s normal for us to be confused about like, what is it that I value? You really have to intentionally unplug. From the bombardment of messages that are asking you to value something else? Yeah, it, it’s, it’s so important because what happens is when we are on autopilot and we’re not taking that time out, our brain, our subconscious brain is just taking in the information and making decisions on our behalf, and most of the time they’re not ones that we would intentionally make.

And so, yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s powerful to step back and take that time out and, and start to really be more intentional about what you want, where you put your focus. Where if you’re getting 10,000 marketing messages, how can you cut those pack? I, I’ve gone through phases of, of shutting down social media.

I’ve gone through phases of what I’m just gonna. Not watch TV for a while and it, it’s, it can be useful to kind of get that space to, to think things through. Yeah. I, I recently read, I wanna make sure I get her name right, but it’s the book’s called Real Self-Care by Doc and one of the principles in that book, again, real Self-Care, which I love is.

Principles. Our principles can be pretty rigid. So principles of self-care can be pretty rigid. I like it. Even principles of money can be pretty rigid, but our methodologies can change. Mm-hmm. So it’s okay. You know, principle wise, cash flow, we should be bringing more money in than we’re spending on a month to month basis.

That’s a good, solid financial principle. But the way that one person achieves, that one method that a person achieves, that versus anybody else’s method of achieving that can be wildly different and totally flexible. And I think that’s some of us need to, some of us. For self-care, need to unplug from social media and for some people social media is their self-care kind of methodology.

Mm-hmm. But as long as you stay in your, in your lane of principles and those are well defined, then you can kind of pick your methodologies. Yeah. Well, I think we’re gonna start to wrap this up a bit, Jen. I really, I really love the initial conversation and your openness about. You’re growing up and overcoming this overachieving need, but I, it’s interesting to kind of look at how culture shapes us in our environment, not only internally on something like overachieving, but then as we bring it forward in, into a subject like money and how we deal with money.

And is there any last thoughts you’d like to give to the audience before we wrap up here? Hi. Just remind everybody that they’re worth it. Your worth being financially confident, financially secure, doesn’t have to look the same as your neighbor, but, but take, make sure money’s taking up the right, right amount of space in your life, right?

Not too much, but not too little. Make it the right size and, and, and you’re worth it. Yes. Yes. I love that message. You’re worth it, Jen. Where can our listeners reach out to you and find you, um, in your work? Yeah, UOR uor wealth.com is our website, U T O R Wealth. And on the website is our email or phone.

There’s a book, a book now button, so we’ll spend 20 or 30 minutes talking with anybody about where they are financially and if we’re a good fit, and we’d love to work with you. And if we’re not good fit, we’d love to point you to some other resources or some other next steps. Great. Well, I appreciate so much of your time, and I really enjoyed this conversation.

Me too. Thanks for having me. Lori. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you’ve enjoyed it, I would love for you to subscribe. If you’re already a subscriber, don’t forget to share the podcast with a friend. Hope you all have an amazing week. Until next time. Bye.