Empowering Women Through Boudoir and Increased Self Love by Improving One’s Financial Identity

A woman in finance aims to empower women through increased self love, education and improving one's financial identity.

Learning and Loving

I love it when women work together to uplift and empower other women, and encourage self love even when they’re in completely different industries. As you may know, my passion is helping women to boldly embrace themselves through boudoir, which is most likely the most distant industry category to the world of finance. Yet, I met the lovely Lisa at a business networking group and while she works with numbers, we discovered we both have similar values and goals, and so here we are contributing in our own ways with the ultimate goal of increasing a women’s self love.

I recently did a maternity session in my Coquitlam Boudoir Studio with Lisa and her hubby before their daughter was born which led to us talking about self love. So, we did a Q&A together to learn more about her story and here’s what she had to say.

A woman in finance aims to empower women through increased self love, education and improving one's financial identity.

Lisa, please introduce your fabulous self!

I am originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I wandered my way out to the West Coast in 2006 searching for some excitement in the Okanagan and up at Big White. I fell in love with the mountains (how could you not) and decided to make Kelowna home for the time being. I went to school in the Okanagan, finished my Bachelor of Business Administration with a Finance specialty.

Fast forward to 2013, and I found myself in the big city of Vancouver wholesaling investments for a large corporation. I reached a certain point in my career in 2018 where I decided I couldn’t work for a large corporation anymore but I had a passion for helping clients achieve their financial goals, so my business partner and I at the time decided to make a move and start our own business in Financial Planning. That is when we started Portum Financial Services Inc.

A woman in finance aims to empower women through increased self love, education and improving one's financial identity.

As you know, at Mateus Studios we are all about promoting self love, which we know is hard and an on-going journey for most. How do you see finances being part of one’s self love journey?

If you look up the definition of self-love, you will read something along the lines of “Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness.” Self-love is important, it feels good to take care of yourself, it energizes you and in turn, gives you the energy to take care of others. So why do so many women tend to put everyone else before themselves? Taking care of oneself looks differently to everyone but can be seen as taking care of your mind, body, and soul.

“In the world of business and finances, we see a large confidence gap between men and women. Men tend to over-value themselves and women tend to under-value themselves. Men are outspoken about how much they make yet it is seen as taboo to even bring up money with women.”

A woman in finance aims to empower women through increased self love, education and improving one's financial identity.

This can create issues; it has been proven that because men see themselves fit for a promotion (even though they might not be), this confidence can give them the better chance at getting it. Women tend to save 40-45% less than men for retirement and this is part due to taking time out to raise a family, but also due to not valuing themselves at their true worth and having the confidence to ask for what they deserve. On top of having less money in retirement, women also tend to live longer. 

This topic is a lot bigger than you and I put together but women’s self-care for the mind really should include creating their own financial identity and learning more about their finances. We have come such a long way, but little by little we can close this confidence gap even further. I truly believe that this is a large part of self-love and having a high regard for your own well-being.

How do you empower women through the work that you do?

Educate and engage! This is so important to me; I am very passionate about helping give women the financial confidence they need to make their own informed decisions.

“90% of women at one point in their lives will be the sole financial decision maker in their family.”

This is because women tend to live longer than men (sorry men) and these days there is a 40% probability of divorce. So even though, most of the time, the men tend to have bigger voices in the room when it comes to finances, it is so important to have the women come to the financial planning meetings and take part until all parties involved completely understand the process and feel good about it. 

I love educating the women in my life, whether it be a friend or a client, about their finances and helping them feel good and confident about the decisions they are making. I believe that the more they learn and understand, the more they want to know, and I love seeing women feel empowered from this.

A woman in finance aims to empower women through increased self love, education and improving one's financial identity.

What’s your top tip for Women when it comes to embracing finances?

  1. Learn! Learn about the different fundamentals of investing.  80% of women hold back from talking about money but 92% of women want to learn more about financial planning. Start a money club with some ladies where you get together once a month and discuss a money topic over some delicious food and wine! 
  2. Ask! Always ask the question you are thinking in your head. These are your finances and you have the right to understand everything. It sounds cliché but there truly is no stupid question, and no one knows everything, so just ask. 
  3. Value your worth! Learn how to value your worth. We tend to underestimate our worth.

“When getting job offers, 57% of men will ask for a higher salary before signing the contract, and only 7% of women ask.”

This can lead to women leaving over a million dollars on the table over her working lifetime by not asking for more.

What helps you feel amazing in your body?

Getting sweaty with a good workout and this really helps for two reasons. The first is, after working out, I find myself thinking much more clearly and having better ideas. Things just seem to click after getting exercise, whether it be trying to learn a new planning concept or doing some writing. Everything just flows better.

The second reason is, I find I care less about the small stuff after a good workout. Whether it be a wrinkle on my face or a silly argument with my husband, it just seems to matter less. With all those endorphins running through your body, it is almost like your body is too tired to have self-confidence issues, and it is just too darn proud of what it just went through.

A woman in finance aims to empower women through increased self love, education and improving one's financial identity.

How did you feel when you saw your photos? Why do you think it is important for women to express themselves and invest in themselves (time and money) through the art of photography?

The day of the shoot I was 36 weeks pregnant. I walked into Michele’s studio feeling exhausted from being up at 3 AM with back pain and strange hormonal pregnancy dreams. Being photographed at that point in your pregnancy can be difficult as I found I barely recognized my own body.

Michele and Jenny, the makeup artist, treated me like an absolute princess with my hair, makeup, and more importantly snacks! They had me draped in soft fabric with two fans going, one for my hair and the other to make the fabric look like it was blowing in the wind. This was one of the bigger productions I had been a part of and I’ll mention that this was a bit out of my comfort zone. When Michele showed me the photos, I was blown away, and…

“… honestly all I could think of was wow, that is one badass mama. Michele had a vision, went for it, and her creativity really shined through in the photos as they turned out more beautiful than I could have imagined. Now that I have a seven month old, that shoot seems like forever ago, but I’m so beyond happy that I did it and that I can show my daughter the pictures one day.” 

Those photos really captured such a precious moment in time for me and I never thought that I might actually miss feeling those little kicks inside of my belly!

A woman in finance aims to empower women through increased self love, education and improving one's financial identity.

While Lisa hired me to be her maternity session photographer, we captured some incredibly beautiful mama-to-be images that in my opinion, crossed over into the boudoir department. As you can see here, even at 36 weeks pregnant and while she may not have felt her best, a women’s body is a most incredulous miracle that should be documented and celebrated. I’m so glad Lisa has these images to look back on, and fondly remember this wonderful time in her and her hubby’s life. And congrats to them on their gorgeous baby girl!

Ahhh, self love. It can be so many things. Whether it be learning more about something you’re not confident in, aka finances (I need to learn more myself), taking a time out just for you, or perhaps doing a boudoir session to document the amazing you (you deserve to exist in photos ladies), be sure to incorporate self love into your life. As Lisa mentioned, you’ll feel more clarity and be darn proud of what you did. Thank you Lisa for sharing how you empower women and I look forward to collaborating with you again.

If you’re keen to embrace your financial confidence, get in touch with Lisa:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/PortumFinancial/

Email: Lisa.carter@sunlife.com

IG: https://www.instagram.com/portum_financial

LinkedIN: Lisa Carter

Photos shared with permission.

Michele Mateus is a Vancouver Boudoir & Portrait Photographer located in Coquitlam, BC. Hair & Makeup By Jenny Valla.

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