S1 E24- How To Thrive In the Messy Middle with Veronica Rodgers

In this episode of Women Behind the Millions, host Jessica Weaver is joined by financial educator and wealth advisor Veronica Rodgers to discuss personal growth, career transitions, and the challenges of managing wealth. Veronica shares her journey from starting in the mail room of a bank to becoming a successful financial adviser, emphasizing the importance of not settling for less in one’s career. Both Veronica and Jessica reflect on the concept of personal growth and its connection to managing wealth, navigating unexpected life changes, and finding work-life balance. They also delve into the complex dynamics of the “messy middle” of life, including managing the responsibilities of taking care of aging parents and children. Throughout the conversation, Veronica emphasizes the importance of self-care and setting boundaries, with both hosts agreeing on the significance of maintaining control over one’s life and achieving fulfillment beyond financial success.

Highlights:

-Veronica shares her journey from the mailroom to wealth advisor, emphasizing personal growth and transitioning through life’s “messy middle.”

-They discuss the challenges of managing money, career transitions, and the importance of self-care and boundaries.

-Veronica highlights the intersection of financial and personal well-being, emphasizing the value of creating one’s own path and work-life balance.

Contact Our Guest:

Guest’s Email: veronicajoyner@icloud.com

Transcript:

Jessica Weaver 0:01
Hello, everyone, welcome to Women behind the millions. I’m Jessica Weaver, Best Selling Author and founder of the woman’s wealth boutique an all women financial firm. We do help men, women, families, multigenerational women business owners, male business owners, it doesn’t matter. But we are here to really empower women who are making millions, building millions supporting the women making the millions, and looking at all these different components that really come into creating the Millionaire Mind creating a millionaire portfolio. And then what do we do with that money once we have it? So I’m so excited to have Veronica Rogers with us today. She is a financial educator and wealth advisor. She’s been in the industry for 20 years. So she’s a gem to have with us. She has recently joined the woman’s wealth boutique as one of our Wealth Advisors, located in Richmond, Virginia. So welcome, Veronica.

Veronica Rodgers 0:57
Thank you so much, Jessica. It’s such an honor to be here with you today.

Jessica Weaver 1:03
Oh, I’m so excited to talk, because we’ve been talking behind the scenes for months now. I feel like I’ve known you forever. So I’m excited to be able to share your story. You’ve been in the industry for 20 years. Have you been in different roles in the industry? What brought you into the financial industry? Tell us a little bit about your story.

Veronica Rodgers 1:20
Absolutely. So yes, I began in the mailroom, and I love telling people that. The mailroom of the bank during an internship, it was when first union start was still around. So I started there and essentially worked my way from the operation side. And realized I like working with people. I like the one on one interaction, and then made my way over to client facing roles. Whether it was with insurance, or helping other advisors within the brokerage industry. And then finally said one day, you know what, I got this, I can do this. So here I am.

Jessica Weaver 2:09
That’s an amazing story. You’ve consistently have outgrown previous roles as you what did we learn, climb the corporate ladder, and you are climbing the corporate ladder, the broker dealer corporate ladder along the way, you were doing a lot of personal growth. Yes. And that’s what happens personal growth, I would love to talk about that. But when we have so much personal growth, we tend to outgrow the current role at our job, at our firm, I feel the very similar. I worked with my father for over 10 years. And it wasn’t that I outgrew him I outgrew the role that he had in his mind for me. And he knew it at the time and you get to move into this really cool space of creation and impact.

Veronica Rodgers 3:00
Indeed.

Jessica Weaver 3:01
So what do you think helped you with that personal side of growth that led you to keep working it and keep wanting for more and not never settling, is what I keep hearing and your story. What do you think were the on the personal side helped you there?

Speaker 1 3:16
That’s a great question. When I reflect over my career path, there, I realized that there was always something deep within that said, You’re meant for more. You’re more

Jessica Weaver 3:31
There was a voice going on in you always. And I’m sure people listening. We can all we know when there’s That invisible barrier up on us. And we don’t know how to push through that invisible barrier. But there’s something in there telling us that you can get past it. You got to push through.

Veronica Rodgers 3:50
Correct. Correct. You know, when you I kind of joke with people and say when you feel this little itch and start squirming in your seat, even before you clock in, they know that a change is coming.

Jessica Weaver 4:06
It’s not just that your butt is itchy there actually there’s this energy in you. And it will come out on different symptoms and it could Yeah, that antsiness like, okay,

Veronica Rodgers 4:20
That’s such a better way to put it. Yes.

Jessica Weaver 4:24
And usually when you know this the work we’ve done together. So many people will try to ignore that. They’ll avoid it or will make excuses up. It’s not a good time. I gotta focus on my health. I gotta focus on my family. I got X, Y and Z. And I would say 90% of people will stay in that role.

Veronica Rodgers 4:47
Correct.

Jessica Weaver 4:48
But the people listening to this the women like you or like you. They’re ready to move past that. Yes. And your whole story is how to thrive in the messy middle. And I love that because everything happens in the middle. The chaos, the mess, that unraveling everything, so works better for us. Yeah, what has been Have you been in the middle? You’ve been in a big transition career wise. Yes. Tell us about this transition that you’ve been going through. And I’m sure it’s been messy. It’s been good. It’s been a roller coaster. It’s been

Speaker 1 5:29
A roller coaster indeed, I can laugh and joke and say, you know, just like the financial markets, your life is cyclical. So you can be at a peak riding high, and then before you know it, life throws you a curveball, and you’re in a valley, you’re in the trenches, and then you work your way back up to a peak. I mean, all of it’s the same. And yes, I have been in a messy middle multiple times. And currently, I’m proud to say that I’m in it as well now, navigating life. The past few years has been a roller coaster. It has been exciting. It has brought many tears. You know, of course, we’ve all gone through the pandemic, we’ve all experienced that. And each of us have had different trials and tribulations that come our way. During that time, I decided to meet the love of my life right before the pandemic, I then decided to step out on my own and become a financial advisor, I got married, became a bonus mom and had a baby of our own.

Jessica Weaver 6:55
That is a lot of changes in a very short period of time. That’s a lot of growing and stretching, a lot of living out out of what’s familiar and comfortable.

Speaker 1 7:04
Exactly. It was as if the universe, God just answered and gave me everything I prayed for, asked for, all at once. And I have to admit, I’ve had a few nights, just crying uncontrollably and saying why in the world did this happen all at once? But I know it’s because I’m stronger than what I ever know. All of my experiences have helped me get to a point where I truly know I can help others. I have a testimony I have something to give so that other women just like me, can see that there’s more for themselves as well.

Jessica Weaver 7:57
That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. I love that you say, why all at once God why? But what we learned what we know in the Bible is he rains blessings on us. And when there’s a rainstorm, is it just one drop? It’s drop after drop, blessing after blessing after blessing coming at us. And you said it beautifully that the time in the middle, the time in between all the blessings coming, that’s the growth. Yes. That’s how you grow and align to get to that point where you can receive it all. Be grateful for it all. Embrace it, and not shy away from it either. How do you see this translating to people with wealth, with money? Because to me, working career could be the middle, you’re working 30 or 40 years and the end goal is retirement, the be all end all, retirement. But that whole time when you’re saving money, there’s curveballs getting thrown at you.

Veronica Rodgers 8:54
Yeah. That’s a great way to put it. Yes. Yes.

Jessica Weaver 8:59
And in the middle could also be supporting parents and children, which is in a situation you currently are in right. Veronica, do you mind sharing about that part of it?

Speaker 1 9:08
Sure. Yes. What I do for myself, is one, provide myself as much grace and compassion during this this middle, yes. As you stated, along with all the blessings that I’ve mentioned, I also am currently in what we call the sandwich generation. So I have aging parents, you know, in the baby boomers, they’re getting older, they’re experiencing their own health issues. And I know that we as women, especially with the demands on both sides. We tend to put everything in front of us. So for your question, how do you handle it when it comes, especially when it comes to wealth, even though it’s hard, and most of us experience some form of guilt, and you don’t have to be a mother to experience the guilt, especially when you’re dealing with aging parents, you have to remember, you have to put yourself first. And you do so by the grace, the compassion and even when at times, you feel like you just want to scream, allow yourself to scream, because what you’re telling yourself is that you’re loving yourself, you’re giving that space, to respect your feelings, don’t scream at others, but quietly, go outside or go into a room and just let it out. If we keep it in, it just festers and then it presents itself in a way that we know we may have to come back and apologize, or we may have made a mistake and not a great choice when it comes to our finances. Yes. It’s put yourself first. And it still can be the hardest thing to do, Jessica. But it’s the number one advice that I have for everybody, when it comes to making sure to take care of yourself. While you’re in this messy middle.

Jessica Weaver 11:25
Yes, and it’s taking care of yourself, mentally and physically and also financially, you said you’re taking care of parents, grandparents, siblings, children, your spouse, if you’re financially supporting everybody, there’s no money left for you.

Veronica Rodgers 11:42
Right, exactly.

Jessica Weaver 11:44
You have to make sure your plans in check and secure. Because if, if you’re the one supporting everybody, and you fall well, the whole dynasty is falling, everything’s falling.

Speaker 1 11:56
Indeed, and that I asked a client the other day, when we were discussing her situation. I reminded her I asked her, I said, after you take care of your parents, and after you take care of your spouse, and after you take care of your children, then who takes care of you? And it made her pause. It made her think about it. And guess she fortunately she’s in a great relationship, very supportive. But then outside of her spouse, she said no one. And I said, Okay, we unfortunately know, like just life is life, your parents are going to transition. Your children because you’re doing an excellent job, Mom, you’re they’re going to transition out of the home eventually. We all know during our 20s and 30s we’re all working and focusing on ourselves, the kids are going to grow to young adults and focus on themselves, they may not come back around and say hey, do you need anything, we just don’t know what the dynamics are going to be. So if that’s the case, who’s going to be there to help you? If you haven’t taken the time to take care of yourself first, to make sure you’re still creating boundaries and paying attention to your finances. I’m not saying don’t help others but you got to help yourself first, its putting that oxygen mask on and just like all the flight attendants say, first, it may seem selfish, you want to help your child out if you’re on the plane, of course, or your spouse or whomever, however, put your oxygen mask on first, and then help others.

Jessica Weaver 13:40
Your said so many good things boundaries, which is huge. It’s, especially with our phones, our phones, social media, emails, we are always accessible to everybody at any point in the time. And you get to the end of the day and your cup is depleted. It’s been knocked over, spilt, broken. There’s nothing left in it anyway. And if we don’t have those boundaries, it’s so easy to just continue to give and give and give and give. And you’re running on adrenaline. You’re running on empty, you’re running on fumes. There’s nothing left. And what’s that, the breaking point?

Veronica Rodgers 14:21
It can creep up on you, If you do that.

Jessica Weaver 14:26
It does creep up on you. Yes. How do people give themselves boundaries with their money? What does that look like? And you also said I don’t want to forget about this. How will we have that that anger, that resentment, that that we need to let out otherwise it festers its almost a toxic poison, right, poison. And if we don’t use it, we spew it out at people our kids right? My one client said- If you don’t get this anger out Jess, its gonna go right to your kids. I’m like you’re right. And we usually give it to the people we usually love the most. Yes. Because we feel they’ll always will be there for us. Which is isn’t fair for anybody. Its not fair to us or others. How can people, especially now that the market is being crazy. How can people give themselves some healthy boundaries with their money? And to understand how do I want to say this, not to be angry at the markets or angry at their accounts or even angry at their advisors, but understanding right, this too shall pass? This too will go, what would you say about that with boundaries?

Veronica Rodgers 15:44
Well, one, the first thought is understanding that what you cannot control, let it go. So the markets, we can’t control, right?

Jessica Weaver 16:01
We would like to

Veronica Rodgers 16:02
We would like to. It’s an emotional, it’s an emotional being all on its own. It’s like, some days, especially during this time, when it’s volatile. I make a joke and say, It’s like another child that I have to deal with. And I just sit there and watch it sometimes.

Jessica Weaver 16:22
Watch it having a tantrum on the way down, yeah, I feel you.

Veronica Rodgers 16:24
And when that’s happening, because most people of course, when they’re watching their money, and they’re watching things, be affected by outside variables. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but stop, and then to breathe. What I’ve realized is that as a society, and even as myself, we forget to breathe. We forget to pause, and just take a deep breath. It’s not how can I say it? Perhaps it’s just not a programmed behavior that most people have today, because we are used to reacting. Yes, very reactive and or internalizing everything. So it’s either or you react, where you are keeping everything in. And that’s why my first recommendation earlier that I stated was go somewhere, let it out. Because most people have just bottled it all up. Well, when you’re past that point, you’ve let it out and we know it’s going to come back, because that’s life. What do you do? Breathwork. You have to, in that moment, pause, take a step back. I don’t care if you have to walk out the room. I don’t care if you have to get up from your desk, like you’re doing your your finances, you’re working on your budget, you see something that you don’t like, instead of feeling that negative vibration within, because it’s coming. Walk away. Go do some breathwork, breathe, I don’t care if it’s just a deep inhale and a wonderful exhale that you can do five to seven times alone if the environment allows you to. Breathe, let it out, and then come back. Because what that does, it tells your body, let’s do a reset. Yes. Let’s approach things differently with more clarity. And allow ourselves to give us the grace and compassion that we need to then move forward with what it is that we need to do.

Jessica Weaver 19:14
Yes, I love that the reset because we’re so used to using previous events and the emotions of previous events I got burned before in the stock market. I got burned before by a relationship. And we’ll bring those into the present. And it’s so easy to just continue that pattern. Because it’s what we know, its what we grew up around. It’s what how we’ve been living. But that reset, you can now view it in a whole new perspective. You can say is there an opportunity here for a change? Is there something to be grateful about this is there’s Is there a message that I need to learn so I can move past past this? That reset is huge. And how do I how do I want to respond to this instead of react now I get to choose how to respond to what I’m getting thrown at. And in the end, life’s always worked out.

Veronica Rodgers 20:11
It has

Jessica Weaver 20:13
We’ve always had enough money, it’s figured itself out. That’s so good. Awesome Veronica. I am very curious what this next adventure is going to bring you. And we’re in the how to thrive in the messy middle. Are you coming out of the middle? What is the future for you, Veronica? How are you helping people? I love to hear about that.

Veronica Rodgers 20:37
Whoo. That’s a great question. Oh,

Jessica Weaver 20:40
Put you on the hot seat. Where is Veronica a year from now because I see it. I see this light burning in you. You have so many stories to share so many ways to help people who are in the sandwich generation, who are in the messy middle, are dealing with modern families. And the dynamics, which that’s huge financially. I mean money is complicated. Now you have multiple households and money, money personalities kidding each other differently. Raising kids in different households , whole new ballgame for people. Parenting, financially, emotionally, things like that. So what’s the future for you?

Veronica Rodgers 21:25
A year from now, of course, everything is still I say the Rodgers household plan is just as crazy as ever. Loud and fun. And, you know, I’m looking at I have two daughters. And I can see myself being so active in their lives to teach them the things that I was not taught as a child. You know, when I reflect over my childhood, I can honestly admit that my parents didn’t do great with money. They didn’t have the great money conversations that I know not to do. What I want to do better with my children. And I constantly heard Money doesn’t grow on trees, you have to rob Peter to pay Paul, knowing what it felt like to not have.

Jessica Weaver 22:22
That’s a lot of scarcity and an upbringing when you’re so vulnerable and influenced by people to hear those things about their society. And you mentioned it, we were talking even yesterday, you mentioned something your father told you that still plays a theme, and I would love for you to share it because this is gonna resonate with everybody.

Veronica Rodgers 22:44
Oh, yes. Oh, yes. When I graduated from college, I went to North Carolina a&t State University, graduated back in 2004. And I’m okay to date myself right now. Um I remember working my first job as an operations analyst in front of the computer, data input all day long, bored out of my mind. And I called my father, to check in see how things were going and to let them know like, I’m not happy. This is not what I pictured life to be after college,

Jessica Weaver 23:28
how many people can feel that way? That first shove out of college, like this is the real world? This is what everyone’s rushing to get to?

Veronica Rodgers 23:35
Like, oh, I wanted to pack my bags and go back to Greensboro so quickly. And I vividly remember my father saying to me, after he listened, you like the money don’t you? And something at that exact moment as I heard the period on the, you know, the question mark on the end of his question. It sent chills all throughout my body. And it told me, I’ve got to sacrifice my happiness in order to earn a living.

Jessica Weaver 24:16
This is such a theme. Oh my. You say this is giving me chills. And I can see I’m sure everybody listening to the same thing. You have to pick one, it’s money or happiness. You got to pick one. It’s either or, it’s horrible but I’m sure that’s how he was raised. That’s what he he that’s what he learned and grew up around. So his fatherhood advice to you was that.

Veronica Rodgers 24:43
Exactly, exactly.

Jessica Weaver 24:45
How do you rewrite that? Because that is again, you’re very vulnerable at that stage- a new job, new career, all new territory, terrain, into the unknown. And you’re told that from somebody that you respect and value , this is how it has to be. How do you change that in you?

Veronica Rodgers 25:05
It has been hard. You know, let me share my vulnerability about that. My father is/was my idol, like he was one of six children out of the children, probably fair to say he’s been the most successful. And he worked really, really hard in a career that I’m sure he didn’t truly love. But it was because he had three children of his own. And then my parents divorced when I was 11. And he remarried when I was 15. So welcome two step brothers during that marriage. So he was taking care of five children and did what he needed to do. He sacrificed his time because it took him away a lot. He had to travel to the west coast during the week, and come back on the weekends. And that’s where we got to see him. So you can imagine the dynamics there.

Jessica Weaver 26:15
Not even having time for family, right you have to sacrifice happiness and family time.

Veronica Rodgers 26:21
And now where we are, unfortunately, is the story that I put around it was that he also sacrificed his health in order to achieve and take care of his family.

Jessica Weaver 26:37
Opposite of your advice, putting yourself last, your happiness last, your time last, your health, everything.

Veronica Rodgers 26:46
Yes, yes. he retired early. And then, unfortunately, as soon as he retired, Parkinson’s.

Jessica Weaver 26:56
Wow. Oh, that’s so unfortunate.

Veronica Rodgers 26:59
And young, very young. He’s only 65 now. And in the in the later stages of Parkinson’s. And he may have had it much longer than we will ever know. But because he’s retired and was like, Okay, now I can relax. All that stress, all that anxiety, all of those pressures, not handling them well manifested in that way.

Jessica Weaver 27:30
In a big way. That reminds my grandfather, he passed away six months into retirement from Leukemia, and he was on the railroad worked over time, all the holidays. Similar dynamic, right? No time, no family time, health. And you see that a lot. There’s been studies showing that when you hit retirement, your mind is telling your body there’s no longer purpose, and it starts to decay in a way. Which is when everything comes to the forefront all of these sicknesses and diseases, and he probably did have this forms of it for a very long time. Very sad. And you don’t want anyone to see anybody going through that, especially when they work so hard.

Veronica Rodgers 28:12
And, you know, please, he probably can say that, ultimately, he found something out of it. Of course, it was rewarding to be able to protect his family to provide his family provide for his family. However, I’m from the standpoint of I keep putting all that time and effort and that work. And yes, fortunately, we’re, we’re all successful. You know, he gets to see his family growing. Recently, one of my stepbrothers just got married himself. So the dynamics are there, the everything’s growing, he’s not able to participate as much as he would like to. So I’m of the mindset of like, we have to make sure we’re doing what we want to do, what brings us joy. But I do have to tell my inner child like, it’s okay. Yes, Your dad told you that advice you and everything he said, when you were younger was gospel. But you have your own path. You have your own dreams, your own desires, and you have the right to do it your way.

Jessica Weaver 29:35
That’s beautiful. Yeah, create your own bill of rights. That is so true. So I see you it sounds like having more of the the work life balance but not having to sacrifice so much. But finding a way to have the home life that you want, and have the work life that you want and have the money that you want. Can you have the trifecta?

Veronica Rodgers 30:01
Yes, yes, yes. Every day, I repeat a mantra to myself. And it is, every day and in every way, I’m getting stronger and stronger.

Jessica Weaver 30:15
That’s beautiful.

Veronica Rodgers 30:17
So, when I see myself a year from now, three years from now, five years from now, I know that I am having an impact on other women just like me, who’ve experienced the trials and tribulations, as well and feel as if the world caves in on them, and they’re not sure how to get out. And it may be better to just stay where they are for that safety, for that security, because I have children because I have to take care of my parents. Life is too precious. If we do not put ourselves first and take care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, first, we could possibly end up with a story that we don’t like to enter. And I do not subscribe to saying that I regret anything in life. And I don’t believe anyone else should either. So you’re willing to do the work, willing to understand and the work being taking care of myself. Even just for a tiny bit, 10 minutes here, 15 minutes here.

Jessica Weaver 31:47
Those pockets are huge.

Veronica Rodgers 31:50
It all adds up.

Jessica Weaver 31:54
It does. It does. And then all of a sudden, it’s your entire day that you get to enjoy. Thank you for sharing that about your family and being vulnerable with us today Veronica, it’s a it’s such an important story to share. Everyone’s going through it in some fashion, or they’ve been through it. And it does, it takes that risk stepping into the unknown to figure out how can I make this all work. And that’s what we’re here to do. We want to support you emotionally, spiritually, financially, so that you can have the life that you’ve been after the life that you want to create. I think that’s the biggest lesson is that we get to create it. We don’t have to stay in while we’re been handed or stay in the mess, we get to create it. And that happens in the middle. Because in the middle, you take a stance, I don’t want this anymore. I want to create something different.

Veronica Rodgers 32:48
It’s so worthwhile. It’s like a lifesaver.

Jessica Weaver 32:53
As far as that freedom. I’ll just picture that freedom for a moment of waking up when you want to wake up doing what you want to do for work, checking in when you want to check in

Veronica Rodgers 33:04
Thats the true wealth.

Jessica Weaver 33:06
That is Oh, that is the true wealth.

Veronica Rodgers 33:09
That’s the true wealth of life. It’s not just the money. That part right there be more in control of your life overall, having that freedom. Having that that deep feeling like a blanket is just wrapping around you because of the fact that you know, you are in control of your life and your path and your goals and dreams. That’s the true part of thats the true wealth in life that everybody works to achieve.

Jessica Weaver 33:49
That is awesome. I love that. I was just listening before this. A gentleman who’s a doctor stating his mission in life is to get people to fill themselves up with so much inside of them, that they’re done chasing everything outside of them for that satisfaction and fulfillment and goes right along with that. Right. The Freedom is the wealth. Right? So if we can embrace that freedom we already had, we have that millionaire mindset then we already are there. And then the money is gonna come. It always does. It always does. So thank you so much for being here with us, Veronica, where can people find you? Obviously, you’re at the woman’s wealth boutique. Let them know where they can find you follow your story and the events, everything that you have going on, which is all incredible.

Veronica Rodgers 34:36
Yes. Thank you so much. I appreciate today. Jessica. This is wonderful.

Jessica Weaver 34:42
Thank you so much, Veronica. Goodbye, everybody. Thank you for listening to women behind the millions