Community//

Female Disruptors: Maggie Germano is highlighting the correlation between money and women’s rights

When you think about money, and certainly when it’s covered in the media, you probably think more often about men. Men have always had a monopoly on not only business and earnings, but also the financial advice industry. Many of the women that I’ve met throughout my life don’t relate to the advice that is […]


When you think about money, and certainly when it’s covered in the media, you probably think more often about men. Men have always had a monopoly on not only business and earnings, but also the financial advice industry. Many of the women that I’ve met throughout my life don’t relate to the advice that is put out there by people like Dave Ramsey. I decided to approach the issue as a young feminist, showing the correlation between money and women’s rights. It’s also important to me to make my clients and readers feel supported, rather than judged. There’s a lot of judgment in the financial literacy field, which can make people feel alienated and unmotivated. I want people to feel welcome and see that they aren’t alone in their struggles, and that their current circumstances don’t have to determine their future.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Maggie Germano, CEO of Maggie Germano Financial Coaching and founder of Money Circle. Maggie is a feminist and financial coach for women. She helps women improve their relationship with money so they can take control of their financial future. She does this through one-on-one financial coaching, workshops, writing, and speaking engagements. Maggie was awarded the Women’s Empowerment Entrepreneur of the Year award by the DC Women’s Business Center in 2018.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

I’ve lived in the Washington, DC area for nearly 10 years. I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the world, and my way of doing that has shifted over time. For the first 7.5 years, I worked in the nonprofit sector, starting off with advocating for climate change legislation, and shifting into strategic planning and evaluation of advocacy campaigns. Three years ago, I started my own business as a financial coach for women. I quit my day job to run my business full time at the end of 2017. When I’m not working on my business, you can find me singing, eating, watching movies, traveling, and spending time with my husband.

Why did you found your company?

I had been out of college for nearly 7 years, and I was incredibly unhappy at my day job. I was bored, unfulfilled, and frustrated. The problem was, I didn’t know what I wanted to do instead. I felt like I had no passions and no skills. I actually fell into a pretty deep depression around this time. As a way of coping, I threw myself into volunteer and leadership opportunities. I focused on groups that support women and fight for gender equality, as that is something I care about very deeply. Through this process, I noticed that I was meeting lots of women who were struggling with money, whether it was drowning in debt, or feeling stumped on how to manage a budget. These sorts of issues were holding women back from being able to leave a bad relationship, explore a new career, and generally feel capable of making independent life decisions. To me, this was an obvious feminist issue. I wanted to help these women take control of their money so that they had more control of their lives. I started off just offering support to the individuals I was meeting, which would look like helping them create a budget or a debt repayment plan. From there, I realized that I wanted to be more official, and make more of an impact, so I founded my coaching business, and I’ve grown from there.

What is it about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

When you think about money, and certainly when it’s covered in the media, you probably think more often about men. Men have always had a monopoly on not only business and earnings, but also the financial advice industry. Many of the women that I’ve met throughout my life don’t relate to the advice that is put out there by people like Dave Ramsey. I decided to approach the issue as a young feminist, showing the correlation between money and women’s rights. It’s also important to me to make my clients and readers feel supported, rather than judged. There’s a lot of judgment in the financial literacy field, which can make people feel alienated and unmotivated. I want people to feel welcome and see that they aren’t alone in their struggles, and that their current circumstances don’t have to determine their future.

We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors?

I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded by other women who have taken the entrepreneur path. One such person, Emilie Aries, the founder and CEO of Bossed Up has been incredibly helpful by giving me advice, offering me opportunities like speaking at Bossed Up Bootcamp, and connecting me with folks in the small business realm.

I also have to give a shout out to the internship manager from my very first job in DC, Elizabeth Wallace, who was the first person to give me a book about personal finance. That book sparked an interest in me that led to me starting my own business.

How are you going to shake things up next?

I’m going to start a podcast and create a few online courses. One-on-one coaching isn’t financially accessible for everyone, so I want to expand my business to reach those who need support at a lower price point. Stay tuned!

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

“Ask for help.” Even if you’re a solopreneur, you don’t have to go it alone. Find a community and turn to them when you need support. I found this in the group of fellow women entrepreneurs in DC. I even joined a women’s entrepreneur group that meets once a month. It forces me to get out of my house and reminds me that I’m not alone.

“You don’t have to do the same thing forever.” After 7 years of working in the nonprofit industry, I had an idea that I had to continue doing the same thing in my career. I think a lot of people think they can’t change course. That’s so wrong. Even if you’ve been doing one thing for your entire career, you can try something new.

“Don’t compete, collaborate.” It can feel like everyone in your field is your competition, or a threat to your success. For me personally, the women’s personal finance realm is beginning to feel a little saturated, so there’s temptation to feel like everyone else is my competition. But I’ve actually been happier connecting and collaborating with women who do similar work to mine. We obviously have similar interests and passions, so it only makes sense that we would get along well. Plus, everyone offers a different perspective, which means they will attract different readers and customers.

What’s a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Share a story with us.

A book that has had a deep impact on me is Mindset by Carol Dweck. The idea is that our mindsets and abilities are not set in stone from birth. We are able to change the way we think about things and the things that we are capable of doing (within reason), if we put our minds to it. I think this book helped me realize that I could try new things, even if they didn’t come naturally to me, like become an entrepreneur!

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

I’d love to have breakfast with Kathleen Shannon from the Being Boss podcast. She seems so efficient and driven within her two businesses, and I’m so inspired by her! I’ve also turned to her podcast for most of my entrepreneur questions, so I’d love to ask her directly for advice.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I’m most active on Instagram (@MaggieGermano) and in my Money Circle Facebook group, but you can also follow me on Twitter (@MaggieGermano) and on Facebook!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Toshiro Shimada/Getty Images
Wisdom//

3 Steps to Deal With Finances in Your Relationship, According to Finance Experts

by SheKnows
Well-Being//

How To Practice Self-Care on a Budget

by Girls' Night In
Community//

Manisha Thakor: “Why it’s essential to have a #SisterHive”

by Yitzi Weiner

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.