Ignoring Glass Ceilings
Freedom has allowed me to ignore glass ceilings and unconscious biases to build a successful wealth-management firm. I grew up in a small town in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. My father was a government employee and my mother worked part time as a gymnastics judge. At an early age, I knew I wanted to create my own business and a life that was different from those of most of my family and friends.
My father did not grow up with very much. His family was very loving, but they never saw much in the way of financial success. Both of his parents worked hard but didn’t have the desire to have a different life. Freedom allowed my father to intentionally rise above his family members. My father is the only person in his family to have gone to college, and the only person in that family who could say they had a successful career. He was committed to his family and made sure that his children had more opportunities than he had. My father always told me and my siblings that we could do anything we put our minds to.
"My father always told me and my siblings that we could do anything we put our minds to."
My family never wanted for anything because my father worked very hard, my mom was a saver, and my grandfather was a successful business owner who was very generous. My grandfather made my family’s life easier, even though nothing came easy for him. My grandfather was raised in a Mennonite community, and during the Great Depression, when he was in the eighth grade, his father died and his mother made him drop out of school and sent him to work on a farm. In the arrangement, the farmer sent his mother weekly pay, which she used to put food on the table. At 18, he left the farm — and he slowly built a multimillion-dollar masonry company. Freedom allowed my grandfather to create a successful business, even though the odds were not in his favor.
Although very different in their levels of success, my father’s and grandfather’s successes inspired me. My father’s constant positive reinforcement encouraged me to rise above the unconscious bias that “men should make and handle the money.” I do believe that, because of freedom, we all can do anything we put our minds to.
This post is part of a series produced by CircleAround and NAWBO. Founded in 1975, NAWBO is the unified voice of over 10 million women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs in the United States.
McKenzie Frankel is a principal at Entrust Financial in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Entrust is an independent, fee-only investment-management firm, one of the few woman-founded, women-owned firms in the region.
GIRL SCOUT AFFILIATION: McKenzie was a Brownie.