WHY do you really want what you want? What would you do if money was no object? Let’s face it, money is NOT the be-all and end-all. But money is the currency of energy for your hopes and dreams. If you do well with little, you will do well with a lot.
I’m joined by Katy Chen Mazzara, a financial coach and money mentor, who helps her clients erase their money fears and expand their financial abundance mindset to live their best life. It’s all about finding the balance between dreaming and doing to create the financial freedom that we yearn to achieve.
Katy is an award-winning documentarian and news anchor that followed her passion of producing television and digital shows for ABC, NBS, PBS, E Entertainment, VH1 and so many other studios. So how did Katy go from TV producer to money mentor, you may ask? Listen to my podcast as we explore Katy’s extraordinary journey and key lessons about money.
- Katy’s colourful journey from producer to money mentor.
- How do you find your next gig? How do you survive between gigs?
- You are only as good as your last gig!
- How are you not worried about money when you are not working?
- Empower women to make decisions based on desires and dreaming.
- Never stay in a situation or leave your dreams behind because of money.
- Side hustles are key when you have an inconsistent income.
- Your business knowledge and credentials take time to build and fine-tune.
- So much ego is involved in being in the entertainment industry.
- Building resilience to overcome criticism and being successful despite all the odds.
- Unique predicament of financial freedom for freelancers.
- How do you want to structure your work with your life? What is the bigger picture?
- Pay off your debt and the discipline of saving.
- Can you think yourself rich?
- The practical work needed to overcome self-limiting beliefs.
- The energy of the law of attraction and alternative ways to make money.
- Tight-fisted vs. emotional spending.
- Money is a currency of energy for your hopes and dreams.
- Money energy magnifies your current headspace.
- WHY do you really want what you want? What would you do if money was no object?
- The most persistent are the most successful!
Learn more about Kate Chen Mazzara
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Lisa Linfield: 00:09 Hello everybody and welcome to today’s episode of Working Women’s Wealth. I’m joined by Katy Chen Mazzara, who is a financial coach and money mentor, who helps people stop worrying about money, erase their financial fears and expand their abundance mindset and habits, so that they can spend more time living their ideal life.
Katie understands how to balance dreaming and doing, to create financial freedom. For the past 15 years, she has followed her passion, producing and developing television and digital shows for ABC, NBC, PBS, E! Entertainment, VH1, Bravo, Travel Channel, Dreamworks, and many other networks and studios.
In between gigs, for fun, she’s read so many personal finance books, magazines and stock prospectuses, so that she could get certified as a financial and life coach. Prior to her career in television, Katy was an award-winning documentary and news anchor, reporter, writer, editor, and producer. She’s also a graduate from New York University. Katy, welcome to the show.
Katy Mazzara: 01:33 Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here.
Lisa Linfield: 01:37 Katy, how did you go from producing TV shows such as The Bachelor to becoming a money mentor?
Katy Mazzara: 01:48 It’s two-fold. One thing that happened was, while I was a producer … As a TV producer, we’re freelance. So, we go from a show for three months or so, and then we ended up not working for three months or so, until the next show happens. So, after my first show in entertainment, I was wondering, “How do people do this? How do people find their next gig?” And then also, how do they do it financially?” Because if you’re not working, how do you have money? How do you survive?
So, I started to read all kinds of personal finance books and figure it out, and then realized, “Oh my gosh, I actually really love this stuff.” And then some of my friends started asking me, and colleagues started asking me, “How do you really do this? How are you not worried when you’re not working?” That was a question I got a lot. “How are you not worried about money, when you’re not working?”
I started to tell them, and then I started to teach them, and I started to coach. I got my certification in both financial coaching and life coaching. And then there’s another, more personal reason, of why I made the transition from TV producing into being a money mentor, is that I also have three women in my life that had abusive relationships. They never felt like they could get out of their relationships, mainly because of money.
They had small children, and because they were taking care of their small children and they weren’t working, they didn’t have their own money, and so they felt they were stuck. They felt like they had to stay in the relationship that they were in, and I never want that for anybody. I really want to empower people to actually make decisions not based off of money, instead to base it off of what they need in their life, what they truly desire in their life, and how they want to move forward in their life.
Lisa Linfield: 04:05 It’s one of the saddest things that I see, is any situation when a person stays in the situation because of money. Whether it be, as you mentioned, in a relationship where they just feel they have to stay in order to be financially secure, or whether it be actually in a work environment, when they’re staying in a job they hate, that’s soulless, just because they’ve got used to the financial income that comes with being in that job.
Katy Mazzara: 04:34 Yes. It even happens if it’s your dream career. I’ve seen it over and over again, even in television producing. Many people I know will take any job, and they don’t like it. They don’t the show. They don’t like the show’s content, but they feel like, “Well, if I don’t work, I’m not going to have any money, or for rent this month.” So, they’ll just take anything.
And then there are those people who have been wanting, and having a dream of producing their own shows, and they never have time to do it. They never have time to put down the ideas on paper, and then create a pitch reel, and then go and network or anything. So, they’re really leaving their own dreams behind just because of money.
Lisa Linfield: 05:20 So how did you transition? Did you one day wake up and stop producing altogether or was it a slow and gradual transition? How did you go about making this shift?
Katy Mazzara: 05:33 It was a slow and gradual transition. I mean I really believe in, and I know you do too, believe in the idea of having sort of a side hustle. I really wanted to have my own business. At first, I didn’t really understand, or know what that is, because I don’t come from a family of entrepreneurs or anything. My dad was an engineer and now he’s a professor. My mom was mostly stay-at home-mom. So, I didn’t have the background or understanding of how to do it.
So then, I started to just do it slowly and gradually, with friends and with colleagues, in the beginning, while I was still working in my TV producing job. I would do it in between jobs. That period of time, those few months where I wasn’t actively producing a TV show, I would take on clients. It slowly built up from there, until I got so many clients that I ended up turning down the TV jobs because I was building the business into something I wanted it to be.
I’d say this to everybody that I work with, because everyone I work with pretty much are creative people who have inconsistent incomes. When you have an inconsistent income, something that’s really, really powerful, and keeps you sane, is to have a little side hustle going, so that you can actually make some money if you don’t have something else going on at the same time.
Lisa Linfield: 07:13 How did you build the knowledge that you needed? Not only the life coaching and financial coaching knowledge, but how did you also build the business knowledge? Because you had always been a producer, how did you suddenly get to getting enough information or knowledge to start your own business?
Katy Mazzara: 07:32 Yeah. Well, I took a course on it. As a TV producer, I mean you’re kind of working for yourself anyway, really, even though you work on a show and that kind of stuff. But as a freelancer, you’re really working for yourself, and so you’re building up somewhat of a business. I mean, it’s not really a business, because as TV producers you’re still getting a regular paycheck from a production company and that kind of stuff, but the same mentality applies. The same mentality of looking for the next show, which is basically your next clients.
We always say, “You’re only as good as your last show.” You could be an Emmy award-winning or Oscar award-winning producer, but then if your next show or movie tanks, that’s the reputation you have at the moment. It’s really moment-by-moment, so you’re really trying to build up that kind of credential, but also doing the best job you can possibly do while you’re in it, while you’re in that show.
Lisa Linfield: 08:41 You must have built fantastic skills of resilience.
Katy Mazzara: 08:45 Oh yes, yes. The entertainment industry, I always say, is just all about learning how to take critiques. Sometimes, they’re not very constructive critiques, but yes, you have to be able to take it. Because I mean, there’s a lot of ego involved in making movies and television shows, and most of us are not at the very, very top. Even if you are the executive producer of the show, you’re not the studio head. So, there’s always somebody ahead of you, that’s going to give you notes, that’s going to tell you how to do something and how to do it better.
Lisa Linfield: 09:29 You know what I think? It’s one of the things that one has to learn, is how do you build resilience? Because the quicker you can learn to get over these things and for it not to devastate you, I think the better life is.
Katy Mazzara: 09:44 Yes. Oh yeah, absolutely. I think resilience is one of the really biggest strengths and strongest traits that people should have, and I know I definitely have built up over the years. I always say that we all have people we admire, but you admired them for different reasons.
One of the people I admire is Oprah Winfrey. The reason I admire her isn’t because, oh, she’s this multi-billionaire, and all the things that she’s done, but it’s mainly because of her resilience. I mean, she came from nothing. She came from not even having a working bathroom in her house. I think she talked about having to go to an outhouse growing up. She went from that kind of condition, and then some physical abuse, some sexual abuse I think in her background, and then was able to make it in spite of all of that. That’s what I really admire her for.
Lisa Linfield: 10:42 Absolutely. So you focus mostly on financial freedom for freelancers. What is unique about them and what strategies do you use for the problems they face?
Katy Mazzara: 10:55 Yeah. Well, what’s unique is that not having that paycheck. The every two weeks, getting a paycheck thing, and not having benefits from your employer makes you think outside the box. You essentially have to think like a business owner, in a way, even though they’re giving you a paycheck for the time that you’re working with them. But you still have to think about it as a business owner, so you have to really take care of yourself.
It’s important to, one, think about how you want to structure your work with your life. Two, it’s thinking in a bigger picture way. I think this is important for anybody. We shouldn’t all be going from paycheck-to-paycheck. I mean, that’s not the goal. The goal isn’t to just work with the two weeks that you have, and then spend it all, and then you have nothing left to show for it.
For freelancers, for those of us with inconsistent incomes, it’s even more important to kind of take a step back and look at the bigger picture of what you have coming in. If you are working for three months, and then what you’re bringing in has to last you for even longer than that, you want to figure out where you need to put things.
And then the most important thing, I think, for freelancers and anyone with an inconsistent income, is that emergency savings. You can do it, but it’s just that much harder. The emergency savings will give you peace of mind. It’ll start to make your mind calm down a bit to think, “Okay, I have a little bit of runway, so if the show ends and I have three, six months, even nine months or a year,” or whatever it is that you have saved up, you have that time to be able to do it.
That’s that’s how I started. Even in my business, I knew I had 12 months of expenses saved up, and so I have about a year. I was like, “I have a year to really ramp this up, in a way that’s going to be easier for me.” That peace of mind goes a long, long way.
Lisa Linfield: 13:09 So what happens when a freelancer comes to you and they’re still in debt, and they’re struggling to see the wood from the trees? How do you approach that?
Katy Mazzara: 13:19 Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, the debt has to be taken care of first, because you could have a lot of savings, and then if you still have a lot of debt, it’s really like robbing Peter to pay Paul, right?
Lisa Linfield: 13:31 Yeah.
Katy Mazzara: 13:33 Yeah. Because with the debt, none of the money you’re making is yours. You want to actually have that freedom of knowing, “Okay, every bit of money I’m making can actually go towards things I want it to go towards,” not towards some credit card or other debt, loans or anything like that. So, I always encourage everyone to pay off their debts first. Even if you don’t have that savings account yet, it’s fine. Just pay off your debts and then you can actually start building up the savings account.
Lisa Linfield: 14:06 I always say when I teach on debt, “If you are in debt, the interest that you pay, pays for the bankers to go on holiday. So, you’ve got to choose whether you want to go on holiday, or whether you want to pay for the bankers to go on holiday.” As my husband is a banker, I’m always like, “Hey, feel free,” but rather I think, spend the money on your own holiday.
Katy Mazzara: 14:27 Yes, exactly. I love that. I love that. That’s so good.
Lisa Linfield: 14:32 How long does it take people to start building their runway?
Katy Mazzara: 14:39 Well, it depends. If you work for an industry like the entertainment industry, you can build up that money pretty quickly because most people get paid a pretty decent amount of money when they are working. So, it’s just about the discipline of actually, every single paycheck, putting some of it away. I always tell everyone to just automate it, so you don’t even have to think about it. So you don’t even know that it’s going away. Instead, you just know what’s left after it’s already put away into savings.
Lisa Linfield: 15:12 I always say that, “The easiest thing is, take the money off the table because you will spend it. But secondly, if you hate budgeting, once you’ve taken care of all the emergency things and all the important things to look after yourself, the rest you can spend.” So, you know that you’ve got whatever minus, until you get to naught, essentially.
It always amazes me how people have never thought of that. And I’m like, “Well, if you take care of the important things first, everything left is for you to spend.” So, schedule your automated payments to pay for your future self, then change all your automated payments to pay for all the bills, and anything left is yours to spend.
Katy Mazzara: 15:52 Yep, absolutely. Yes. That’s perfect.
Lisa Linfield: 15:55 So, in terms of the mindset work that you do, can you think yourself rich?
Katy Mazzara: 16:03 Well, if you were to just put together a vision board, and hope and wish that everything on your vision board was to come true, I do not believe that works, because I really believe that money is something that’s very earthly. You can’t take it away when you pass. You still have to do a lot of very earthly, very grounded, very practical work, in order to get the money.
Can you shift your mindset enough and erase those limiting beliefs, so that you’re able to draw in money easier to you? Absolutely. That’s absolutely 100% correct and true, because the Law of Attraction isn’t just something that’s woo-woo and out there, it’s actually a law. It’s just like the Law of Gravity. The Law of Attraction is true, that what you expend your energy on, that’s what grows bigger and bigger.
However, with money, it’s not just about that. That’s just one part of it. You do have to get your mind clear, and be able to have this idea of being able to manifest money and have an energy about yourself. However, you also want to put in the practical steps to actually make it happen.
Lisa Linfield: 17:23 What do you mean by that?
Katy Mazzara: 17:25 Well, in terms of practicality, it’s like you have to still be able to work on paying off your debts. You have to put together that emergency savings, and have the discipline and do the savings. You also have to find alternative ways to actually create sources of income for yourself. It’s not just about waiting around for somebody else to call you to make money.
So many times, I’ve seen that over and over again, especially with freelancers. It’s like they’re just waiting for somebody to call them. They think that just because they’re sending out an email or something that, or a resume to somebody, that they’re going to get that gig, which is not the case in most of my experience.
I had never gotten a TV producing job by sending a resume to someone. I always knew somebody or knew somebody who knew somebody. It’s all about connections. It’s all about networking. It’s all about creating that community for yourself, to be able to do the work.
So, all of these things combined, is really the practical stuff. You really do the work, as well as you can create the vision boards, and that’s just to give yourself some clarity to know where you want to go. Because if you don’t know where you want to go, how do you expect the universe, God, or whatever you believe in, to really give that to you? It’s very confusing.
There are lots of confusing messages we send out, as well. If you’re holding onto your money too tightly, you’re basically sending a message out to the universe like, “Don’t give me any more money because I don’t know what to do with the money I already have.”
On the other hand, if you’re also just spending like crazy, if you’re emotionally spending, you’re also giving that same message to the universe. “Don’t give me any money because I’m really scared of it. I’m just spending it whenever it makes me feel better, or when I don’t feel very good at all about myself.”
So, it’s really important that those things get taken care of. You need to figure out how to increase your own self-worth, increase your energy around it. Because I do believe that money is this currency that we use, and it’s really a currency that’s an energy form of, “Here’s what I want. Let me give you this in exchange for something else.”
Lisa Linfield: 20:00 Absolutely. I think the most visual form of that is the lottery winners. If you haven’t mastered it before you get a whole bunch of money, you’re not going to master it afterwards.
Katy Mazzara: 20:12 Yes.
Lisa Linfield: 20:13 It’s as Warren Buffett says, “If you weren’t a very nice person before you got money, you’re not going to be a very nice person after you get money. It just doesn’t work that way.” If you are trying to manifest outwards, an abundance, but you keep losing it all, getting rid of it on expenses, it’s not going to happen. Part that is that, it doesn’t matter how much you put in the top of the bucket, if the bucket leaks at the bottom, it’s always going to be. It might just be a bigger bucket, but it’s still going to leak.
Katy Mazzara: 20:43 Yes, exactly. You see that in the celebrity rock stars. The stereotypical celebrity rock star, that really they make a lot of money, and then they’re all of a sudden broke at the young age of 25 or something. It’s because the money is more like an attention thing. Like, “Oh now all of a sudden people are paying attention to me,” and so then they’re craving that attention more and more, which translates into, the money will go away faster and you’re just going to keep needing money more and more.
Lisa Linfield: 21:20 Sure. The entertainment industry’s a crazy industry. I mean, I think it magnifies society, more than it is unique. I think it’s everywhere, but it’s much more magnified, because a bit like the lottery winners, you go from having nothing to suddenly having a lot of money. If you didn’t know how to use the money before, you’re not going to know how to use the money afterwards, and you’re going to end up with nothing at the end.
Katy Mazzara: 21:43 Mm-hmm (affirmative). It’s so parallel to my work on the show, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette. A lot of times people ask me about it, “Oh, do you think that the editors really make people look bad?” And I was like, “No, it doesn’t make you look bad. It’s basically, you come into that show how you are. It’s just, it gets magnified.”
Lisa Linfield: 22:05 Yeah.
Katy Mazzara: 22:06 If you’re a jerk in real life, then you’re going to be a jerk times 10 on the show. Whereas if you’re a very kind and loving person, then it’s going to come across as you’re the most loving, kind person, even tenfold there too. So, it’s whatever you are in life, yeah, that’s what gets exaggerated, essentially, on the show. I do believe that. Yeah. I think with having a lot of money, it’s the same thing. Whoever you are now, if you had 10 times the amount of money, you would be 10 times however you are now, if you haven’t really figured out your stuff.
Lisa Linfield: 22:48 Oh absolutely. I always say it’s a physical expression of what’s going on inside you. So, if you want to control people, you’ll control them more with money. If you want people to love you, you’ll give it away more than you would before. But until you sort that stuff out, it’s never going to change.
When I work with domestic helpers, they always say if they had more money. I keep saying, “There’s that old proverb, if you do well with little, you’ll get more. If you don’t do well with little, you won’t get more,” because you’re going to spend it all anyway.
It’s quite an epiphany. I think it’s an epiphany for all of us, is that we have to work at it if we want more. And if you’re wanting more just for the selfish control, or filling up a hole reasons, it’s never going to work because it’s the wrong reason. If you want more to live a stronger, healthier, more giving life, then it will come.
Katy Mazzara: 23:44 Absolutely. That’s what I work with, with clients all the time, is just really figuring out why you want that money, why you need to have a certain amount of money. I mean, first of all, to get clarity about what you really want and need, but then why. Why do you want that?
I even do an exercise like what you were just talking about with lottery winners. I say, “Okay, think about winning the lottery right now. Think about what you would do with that money, and write it down. Write it all out in as much detail as possible. I would even encourage you to write it down with the numbers. Start subtracting the numbers. If you start with 100 million, then you can subtract it out, and then take out the taxes. Do all of that, and see what you come up with.”
Because most of the time, what’s interesting to me, is that most people’s lists … I’ve done this so many times in different workshops. And 99% of the time, people will come to me and show me their list, and it’s all full of really amazing, awesome things, like helping their family. “I’m going to pay off my parents’ mortgage,” or, “I’m going to create a charity for this and that,” and all of those things.
What I tell people is, what’s interesting about that, is that our natural instinct is to do good with the money. So, why is it that we’re always constantly being told money’s the root of all evil, and the people who have money are terrible people, and that they’re greedy and this and that?
We get a lot of mixed messages, but we want to figure out what we want to do with that money. Most likely, what you really want with money, is actually something that’s making your life and the people around you actually better and easier.
Lisa Linfield: 25:42 I remember doing it with a client, and he had this epiphany that he was currently living his dream life.
Katy Mazzara: 25:49 Oh, I love that.
Lisa Linfield: 25:51 That’s an interesting thing for me to reflect on, how often we get so caught up on the treadmill, that we forget to look around and go, “Hey, actually I am living my dream life.” He would still choose to work in his business, which he’s created. Maybe he would do more of the fun things he was doing, but he still was doing fun things every single year. He was still spending time with his family every single year. It’s so liberating to watch that epiphany.
What I feel sad about, is how often people don’t invest time and energy in going through a process to work out what they would do. If money was no option, what would you do in your life? After the instinctive reaction, “I’d sit on the beach all day,” and it’s like, “Okay, at some stage you will get bored of that, then what will you do?”
Katy Mazzara: 25:51 Yes, exactly.
Lisa Linfield: 26:45 It’s quite a interesting journey, because I think so many of us have lost that ability to really reconnect with our dreams because we’re so busy trying to survive each day and all the demands that are put on us. We’re time-poor, energy-poor, and in actual fact, we’re dream-poor too.
Katy Mazzara: 27:06 Yeah. Yeah, I agree with that. I think that’s why, even if there’s a little part of you that is yearning for something, it’s really important for you to sit down with yourself and explore that. Even if it’s a moment where, if you’re walking down the street and some place pulls you in, a restaurant or a store pulls you in, really listen to that. Listen to those little instincts inside of you. Because it’s so important to not just give up on our dreams, and give up on the life that we really, really want to create and just say, “You know what? This is all I have in this life.”
I think that a lot of times, people wonder, how do you know if you’ve made it, or how can you make it in an industry that is like the entertainment industry? Which is very competitive and hard to get into, and hard to really make it huge.
I really believe that it’s the difference between people who kind of given up on the dream, and people who actually have that persistence in saying, “No matter what, I’m going to make it. No matter what, I’m going to keep going after those dreams,” and really listening to themselves. And then, if you have a setback, to just recharge. We all need that time to just sit with ourselves and recharge, and do something different for a little while too, to actually make it work.
Lisa Linfield: 28:39 I often say, “I don’t know if it is the most talented that are the most successful, because I think, often it’s the most persistent.”
Katy Mazzara: 28:51 Yes. I would tend to agree with that. Talent will get you far for sure, but if your own will and resilience basically isn’t there, you’re not going to go all the way, for sure.
Lisa Linfield: 29:05 Yeah. It’s such an interesting thing, because I watch my young kids, and they get emotionally locked down in a hockey game or whatever. They mess up. With all these 12 players on the field, one of the biggest difference is, who can move on from that. The marshmallows sit and stew, and their performance gets worse and worse. The ones that are able to just brush it off and keep going, are the ones that have a good game.
I always look at that as like a microcosm of life, is we have to understand more clearly how we teach resilience to kids, to adults, and especially to successful kids who never get the chance to build resilience. If you weren’t the top of the pops, you had to learn resilience quite early. Oftentimes, it’s the most talented kids that have absolutely no resilience, because they’re only ever used to coming top in class.
Katy Mazzara: 29:56 Yeah. Yeah. There’s a bigger fall too.
Lisa Linfield: 29:58 Absolutely. Absolutely. Katy, thank you so much for your time. How would people learn more about the work you do, in terms of money mindset and freelancing finances? How do they get hold of you?
Katy Mazzara: 30:11 They can find me at my website at katychenmazzara.com. That’s K-A-T-Y C-H-E-N -M-A-Z-Z-A-R-A. I’m also on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, all of those, under the same, Katie Chen Mazzara.
Lisa Linfield: 30:32 Oh, that’s fantastic. I’ll include links to all of that in the show notes on our website. So thank you for joining us. It was wonderful chatting to you.
Katy Mazzara: 30:40 Thank you.
Lisa Linfield: 30:42 That was Katy Chen Mazzara. If, like Katy, you’re wanting to start building that next wave, that next side hustle that can hopefully maybe become your full time business, or alternatively just provide you with that extra income that you need to support yourself or to save for a dream or goal, or even for your financial freedom, then I’m doing a live webinar next week, Wednesday, the 11th of September.
I would love for you to sign up in the show notes, so that you can come and learn about all the things that you need to know about starting your side hustle. The webinar has proved seriously successful. If you didn’t get to make it last time round, I strongly recommend, that if you’re interested in learning about how to go about earning that extra income and building that next wave of your career, then do join us. It’s for free. All you have to do is sign up and book your seat.
Take care, have a great week, and visit our show notes for that sign-up. I’m Lisa Linfield and this is Working Women’s Wealth.