Where I met Cass Mullane
I really met Cass two times. The first time was at a meet and greet for the Women2Women mentoring program. I learned that Cass was an artist and had interest in supporting women in the community. The second time I met Cass was at a meeting for the Southern Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce and I learned that she also owns a coaching business for small businesses. Since art and business are two of my interests, I asked Cass to do an interview to learn more about her path to arrive where she is today.
What I Really Like about Cass
Cass is a multidimensional person and she understands that how people learn and process information is so important to their success. In my book, Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improving Your Horseback Riding, I devote an entire chapter to assessing preferred learning styles. Because our time and money is so limited, it is best to process new information in a preferred modality. Cass uses her years of business savvy combined with her innate artistic ability to connect with right brained artists and help their businesses flourish. Cass has created a business to meet people where they are in their thinking as well as their organization.
I was surprised to learn that Cass was an Air Force “brat” a euphemistic term for a child growing up moving around the world with their parents military career paths. It soon became clear that she is the perfect person to help mentor and guide women in today's world as her experiences add to her knowledge base. The short story is that Cass attended school in Colorado Springs and moved to Washington DC to finish her senior year of high school. She became a paralegal, completed an MBA, moved into defense contracting and completed a Master's in Information Management. Cass moved back to Colorado Springs with her Virginia man in 2004 and started her coaching practice, Prosper Creatively.
The longer story is that Cass attended CSU and was not able to get her degree in either the engineering or business programs—and this is a story you should ask her about personally! So Cass majored in Spanish which turned out to be a boon for many of her different business ventures. Instead of entering the business world as an employee, Cass started her own paralegal business until she was recruited to work for a high powered DC law firm and sold her business. Cass consistently used both the right and left sides of her brain in her business career. For example, as a business manager for Northrup, she created color coded budget spreadsheets which put the data immediately available to her. When she attended meetings with her left brained peers, she was nicknamed “Circus” which to this day makes her laugh!
When Cass moved to the Springs, the Northrop job did not pan out exactly as expected (boy, that never happens to people, huh :)) and Cass decided she did not want to relocate to follow the position. Cass interviewed for some local positions but was much too expensive for the Springs economy. It was our good fortune that Cass had to explore what was next.
Cass began the networking process required especially when you are new to a community. She joined the Women's Chamber and started marketing to small businesses. Cass built upon her left-brained success and created an educational coaching system “Beyond the Budget” and soon learned that her right brained clients did not like the word “budget.” This evolved into the business Cass has today—Prosper Creatively.
My Ideal Client...
Cass's ideal client is a business person, particularly a right brainer, wanting to make a living from their passion. Cass is the perfect coach for this kind of client because Cass has a strong background in business and is a working artist. Cass is in the process blending her art with her business and now has an art studio downtown at Cottonwood Center for the Arts.
Cass wants to work with right brainers and creatives who are serious about their businesses—artists, service business people who are motivated to do the work necessary to create cash flow and grow their businesses. Cass has a powerful workshop based on the book the Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee and Cass is also in the process of writing her own book “The Cool Stuff Jar” for 2014.
3 Secrets of My Personal Success
- Using both sides of my brain—communication and perception
- Good sense of humor
1 Great Recommendation for the Next Person
It is imperative to start a new business venture with a plan. This plan must include market analysis, a clear vision and goals and a comprehensive financial picture. The biggest mistake most start-ups make is not budgeting for living expenses until the new business starts to cash flow. You should be in the habit of saving—skim a small percentage from each check and have 6-12 months emergency funds to allow for a job hunt if required.
Take some time to do some “big” picture goal setting. Cass did a crazy list of goals as a brand new college graduate—house, car and promotion—and then realized she had actually accomplished these goals only five years later. Expanding your horizon past your perceived limitations is a crucial first step for success.
My Biggest Financial Question/Concern
Cass was one of those fortunate few growing up in a family who discussed and taught their kids about money. As she grew up, her parents let Cass become privy to more of the household budget so Cass learned how to create a budget first hand early on. Cass chose to live with her parents in DC for a year saving up money to move into her first apartment rather than going into debt immediately. Cass also parlayed her dollars into real estate. As a financial advisor, I encourage people to consider adding real estate to a retirement portfolio.
The biggest piece of financial advice Cass has is to understand your own numbers and budget. Realize it is perfectly normal to be a smart, educated adult and not really understand budgeting but remember that you have the ability to seek out help. There are bankers, coaches, family, financial advisors who can help you in your education process. You also need to know that money is as much emotion as math and you'll have to take care of your emotional baggage to enjoy success.
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