Do not doubt your capacity for success. Trust that you are capable of building a business and reflect that belief externally.
Kassandra Dasent is a recognized Gen X financial expert, consultant, speaker, and the Founder and CEO of Minding Your Money.
“Minding Your Money” is what Kassandra specializes in. Focusing on how emotional awareness can have a direct and lasting impact on one’s relationship with money, she provides her audiences with practical solutions to help them achieve financial stability, wellness, and wealth.
Due to her natural ability to relate to people from ALL walks of life, and her commitment to providing sound financial guidance, Kassandra is the ideal Gen X consultant to work with for corporate training, public speaking, financial education & literacy campaigns, and brand partnerships.
Kassandra has been featured in numerous media outlets including US News & World Report, Business Insider, Fast Company, Travel Noire, Yahoo! Finance and News, and Glamour. Leveraging her personal experiences, financial education and passion to change how we think about money, Kassandra’s dedication to empowering people yields positive results.
Kassandra is a certified commercial credit analyst (GCC), certified financial education instructor (CFEI), twice immigrant and fluent in French. She was born in Trinidad, West Indies, raised in Montreal, Qc, Canada, and currently lives in Orange Park, Florida with her husband.
Where did the idea for Minding Your Money come from?
It came to the surface of my thoughts in the midst of my going back on forth on the decision to quit my former career in software engineering. The concept had been simmering in my mind for some time and I had been a long-time advocate of financial wellness and wealth through teaching financial literacy.
I wanted to focus on a key element that I found very few were alluding to, which was employing a holistic approach to building wealth and emphasizing the role of emotional awareness with regard to the relationship people have with their money. I decided to make the career leap into entrepreneurship and founded Minding Your Money.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up between 6:30 am – 7 am and start the day by voicing my gratefulness for life and walking our dog. If my husband is home, we will have breakfast together but as he is often on the road for work, I will dive right in and take a first glance at my emails and social media messages.
Before I officially start my workday however, I will make a cup of tea and enjoy a light breakfast usually in the lanai. I typically work from home, unless I am on the road attending a conference or presenting at a speaking engagement. I will open up my office programs such as Trello to view my to-do list and workflow as well as review what I have on the calendar as appointments and meetings.
Depending on what is the planned priority, I will work on marketing the business, creating content, making new connections, preparing for upcoming speaking engagements or financial mindset/education workshops, interviewing for media and podcasts, or working with program and coaching clients. I find that I am much more efficient when I am laser-focused on only one or two items at a time and work them to completion. I often take breaks for my mental well-being and I try to wrap up my day by 6:00 pm unless I am meeting with a client.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am very methodical and organized in my approach to idea implementation. My software project management background comes into play and I treat every idea that has been fully vetted no different than a project. I first establish a timeframe for completion and work backward in order to plan key milestone events and dates. Doing this helps me define what I need to accomplish as tasks for each milestone. I have a clear roadmap of what I need to do in order to bring my ideas to fruition.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I like the possibilities of FinTech in relation to teaching financial literacy, especially to young children and teens. It is important to me that adults understand the concepts of financial and generational wealth but also that our children are exposed to it from an early age. They consume most of their information digitally, using app or games so we need to reach them at the access point of their preference.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am successful in separating emotion from the truth. Often I am confronted with the financial realities of people that are troubling. As I deeply care about their well-being, it is important to be able to demonstrate my ability to see past and sift through their beliefs, perceptions, emotions in order to get to the truth of their financial circumstances and help them to create a plan of action that will produce lasting results.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To never marry your self-worth to your net worth. I mistakenly believed that my ability to buy nice things was a reflection of my success and worth as an individual. This false mindset cost me over a decade of my life and was the main source of fuel that created a financial firestorm of debt which took me years to dig out of.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That you do not need to be talented to succeed. Sure, it is important to have an aptitude for what you do and be fairly compensated for it. However, being strategic about how you position yourself in an industry or field and marketing effectively is really what separates the few from the many.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am always reviewing my progress and ensuring that my content and products are addressing the needs of the audience I am working to serve. Staying in tune with their perceived pain points and successes helps me to refine what I offer.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The best thing I have done was to hire a business coach early on who was able to address certain aspects that I was not well versed in, namely marketing. If I had not done this, I do not believe I would be as far along as I am in such a short time.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I wouldn’t consider this a failure but rather a lesson well learned. In the beginning, I underpriced my services. I did not accurately calculate the true value and worth of my time and expertise and instead felt I needed to charge less in order to attract clientele. I was able to resolve the self-inflicted doubt, increase my rates and people are willing to pay it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
With automation on the rise, consulting with companies to provide retraining programs may be a market to tap into. There is funding available at the state and federal level however there needs to be a thoughtful analysis of how to best leverage those dollars and tailor programs to benefit individual organizations.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I would say a recent dinner date with my husband before he left for an extended business trip. We are often passing ships so any time that we have together means the world to us and sharing an intimate meal is an opportunity for us to connect.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use several tools but batch scheduling out social media posts has been a game changer for me. I primarily use Later for both Instagram and Twitter.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Secrets of Six-Figure Women by Barbara Stanny was one that left a lasting impression on me when I first read it, and I have re-read it since. Many people, especially women of colour struggle with underearning. The real accounts from women who were able to overcome that motivated me to believe that I was capable of doing the same.
What is your favorite quote?
It is one that I came up with: You need to let go of failure in order to welcome success.
- Do not doubt your capacity for success. Trust that you are capable of building a business and reflect that belief externally.
- Assess yourself honestly. Determine what you are good at and define the areas where you are lacking. Enhance your strengths and find ways to resolve or mitigate your perceived areas of weakness.
- Apply your passion for what you do in a methodical way. Structure your efforts so that they result in the largest impact possible.
- You have the right to make money but you also have the responsibility of doing so with integrity.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.