Nothing boosts me up and inspires me more than a great podcast. Mia Freedman is the owner of the world’s largest female podcasting network with a range of shows go across a number of areas from work and career, health, politics, fashion, art, parenting. Where does this book review fit on a website that is curating resources and creating a new narrative for millennials and finance. The answer is everywhere! Today I will delve into three important messages I got from Freedman’s book, Work Strife Balance that have fuelled my financial journey.

1. Work Strife Balance – Life is hard: focus, keep going and remember your journey is unique

What was refreshing about Freedman’s book was her openness about different highs and lows in her life and career.

Freedman really embodies the notion of Grit: pushing back into work after the birth of her first son and creating a new narrative for women’s magazines when she was the editor of Cosmo, quitting the media job where she did not fit within the culture and backing herself and starting her own media company, Mamamia, in 2007 and slowly expanding until she employed over 100 staff.

In her first few years of running her company Freedman taught herself to code, learnt to navigate the web environment, create logos and taught herself how to effectively navigate and grow social media to reach an international audience of 4 million (and growing).

Freedman’s first logo she created for her company

I loved how Freedman openly speaks about how her company took years to build with “many missteps along the way.” Freedman completely leans in to Brene Brown’s concept of vulnerability in her day to day life speaking candidly about difficult and dark elements of her life including her struggle with bulimia, losing a baby, trying to come to terms with her dual identity as a Mum and a career woman

Through her ability be open and vulnerable Freedman has been able to openly discuss her political views and touch and connect with many more women on an intimate level in a new medium that completely fits with Freedman’s style, podcasts.

Freedman’s natural ability to build rapport with her interviewees and exceptional producing skills make her interviews a dream to listen to and make me excited to tune in. Clearly her people, research and networking skills from her years working in the industry made her really attuned to what women actually want to hear about.

One of my favourite interviews by Freedman in the past few years was her interview with Turia Pitt, an ultra marathon runner that was caught in a bush fire during one of her events and received burns to 65% of her body. Freedman asked the questions that brought Pitt’s story further into the light and showcased her bravery, and love of life.

For me it is podcasts with a range of women across different issues that help to inspire me in my daily life.

2. Work Strife Balance – Support women and build a community

To continue to allow women to succeed women need to support other women.

Freedman is openly feminist and consistently standing up for causes she believes in whether it is through the development of a movement supporting women who have experienced miscarriages, supporting LGBTI people or her latest venture @ladystartups where she is determined to showcase and celebrate female entrepreneurs.

Freedman truly believes in continuing to back and bring issues for women into the mainstream. Continuing to showcase financial issues in relation to feminism is extremely important:

  • When thinking about salaries Australian women get an average of $70,392 a year as opposed to their male counterparts who get $83,902
  • Yet according to Westpac’s homeownership report 28% of women as opposed to 20% of men are planning to buy a home in the next three years
  • Women retiring have approximately $120,000 less in their superannuation accounts than their male counterparts
My best friend Meg, Mia Freedman and I at Mia’s Outloud Brisbane event in February 2018. I didn’t know what to say to my hero when I met her except to ask her for what my heart was and still is hoping she produces: a podcast for single women

Part of me seriously tracking my journey to buy a house online this year was realising that everyone starts somewhere. Once my head was down and my big hairy goal was defined I had to continue to run towards it. It didn’t matter that none of my other female friends or contacts my age had bought their house without a partner, a financial gift or loan from family, a parental guarantee or through living with family 1-5 years to save on rent costs. It didn’t matter that other people thought my dream was crazy. It is my dream and if I worked incredibly hard and focused I would achieve it, perhaps I could even inspire some other people along the way?

3. Work Strife Balance – Notice an itch and scratch it

“If you observe a gap in the market for something you want and decide to fill it, you’ll be guaranteed an audience of one at least”

When Freedman started her Media company, Mamamia, there would have been plenty of people questioning her leaving a secure, well paid and high status role. But for someone as driven as Freedman who continues to set herself growth goals, who loves to learn and is shamelessly herself (thank God) where is the fun and challenge in that?

  • When Freedman noticed the gap in the magazine market for different kinds of body shapes, ethnicities, heights and she addressed it with new editorial spreads in her Cosmo magazines
  • When Freedman noticed the lack of female content on podcasts she addressed it building a podcast empire and now the largest female podcast network in the world
  • When Freedman noticed the silence surrounding miscarriage and the pain she felt she addressed it in the community she created across her media companies

Noticing an itch around the lack of positive framing in the Australian and New Zealand media around millennial women and finance was actually why I started this website in the first place:

Here’s some new narratives about millennials for you to ponder:

What if millennials such as Aussie Firebug, Pat the Shuffler and Paula Pant are leading a new movement called FIRE (Financially Independent, Retire Early) where they are creating passive income streams and living radically different lives?

At least with a property that I am working towards paying off I will fight the rise in rent prices with inflation. It’s proven that people with a paid for house going into retirement have a much happier existence. Yes, other costs exist but if my flat share rent is $510 a fortnight now at 30 with 3% inflation that will put it at $2791.29 a fortnight by the time I am 70. I’ve been flatting and renting since I was 18. When I am 70 I would like the choice of living alone, I would like the certainty around my household costs and not having to find a further $2000+ a year to find a new place, pay for a bond clean and still have the real estate company try and steal my four week bond payment, I would like to be in the financial position to not lean on family or social welfare for support.

In summary

My key learnings I learn from Mia Freedman’s book, Work Strife Balance are:

Life has ups and downs and it is important to build upon each experience. When Freedman reflects across her career is knits nicely together in hindsight but Freedman continues to work exceptionally hard and fly at the seat of her multicoloured pants.

Continue to support and help other women in your life achieve their dreams.

How I loved this quote when I read it – notice a gap in the market when it comes to something that you are passionate about and pursue it with full force.

The Economiss is a single, female, millennial on a mission to buy her first home in Australia. A Kiwi by birth, she jumped over the ditch after she finished her tertiary qualifications in search of employment. The narratives quite often showing up online overshadowed her thoughts of buying a house alone changed in 2017 The Economiss started super charging her finances and saved over 30% of her after tax income towards her house deposit as well as cash flowing four overseas trips. In 2018 The Economiss decided to create a new narrative and share her journey saving 36% of her after tax income for a $60,000 house deposit by December 2018. Do you have some tips to share or want to be featured on the blog, please get in touch!

Book club: Work Strife Balance
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