Speaker’s Corner: Featuring Adina Appelbaum, Co-Creator and Co-Founder, Financial and Online Business Coach, Immigrant Finance
Tell us about Immigrant Finance – its work and projects…
Through Immigrant Finance™, we empower immigrants and their families with personal finance education and online business development so they can make the shift from surviving to thriving and build generational wealth. We help people learn how to manage money, invest, and increase income.
When my husband Mauricio immigrated to the U.S. from Ecuador in 2013, we struggled through the whole process of trying to figure out our finances. We didn’t know if my husband was allowed to do basic things like have a bank account or credit card or if he would be able to invest, take out a mortgage, save for retirement, and build a future here in the U.S. We felt very alone and anxious in the process and wasted years trying to figure it all out on our own. There was nothing on the internet or in the personal finance books about personal finances for immigrants. Even as someone studying to become an immigration lawyer, I couldn’t find the answers and we had to piece together everything ourselves. To hear our whole story you can listen to the first episode of our podcast here: https://anchor.fm/immigrantfinance/episodes/1–Our-Immigrant-Finance-Story-eo2v9t.
As an immigration lawyer who has worked with hundreds of immigrants, I have also seen how much of a difference having a strong personal finance foundation can make in someone’s life and immigration case.
My husband and I created Immigrant Finance™ because we don’t want anyone else to have to struggle alone like we did. Immigrants are some of the most hardworking, innovative, and entrepreneurial people. Yet many are unfairly not seeing the rewards of their years of dedication and strong work ethic because they do not have access to information on how to navigate the financial system, invest, and increase income.
All immigrants deserve to have opportunities to invest, start businesses, and build generational wealth regardless of their immigration status or lack thereof. All immigrants should have the lives they deserve. This is exactly what we support our students to do in our signature coaching program Immigrant Finance School™, which focuses on helping people learn how to manage money, invest, increase income, and strengthen their money mindset. Our mission is to help over 1,000 immigrant families invest over $1 million together in the next 5 years. We also offer an in-depth Online Business Accelerator where we coach our students on everything they need to know to start an online business from developing an offer, to pricing, to marketing strategy, sales training, software systems, setting up an LLC, business taxes, and finances, and business mindset.
What are the challenges within the financial coaching and service industry today? How is your company working towards dealing with or solving these challenges?
Not enough advisors, experts, and companies in the financial industry are catering services to the unique financial needs of the immigrant community. This is exactly why we have created a platform and programs designed around the specific financial circumstances immigrant families face.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in demand for financial coaching solutions?
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for many people to realize that they could have a better quality of life, including financially. While many people have suffered during the pandemic, new opportunities and wealth have also been created. People are realizing that they need to take action and take their financial futures into their own hands.
What is your biggest objective as a speaker?
If I can change the life of one person who participates in an event I speak at, or even just say one thing that makes one person start to see more possibilities for themself and their family, my work has been done.
Could you share with us the points of discussion (the input that you provided) during the panel(s) at FinCon 2021?
At FinCon 2021, I presented on “Social Entrepreneurship: Creating an Online Business That Helps Others and Makes Money”. I covered what social entrepreneurship is; why we need mission-based, purpose-driven businesses; the opportunities online business and the digital economy provide for social entrepreneurship; my own social entrepreneurship story; and my 3 step framework combining purpose, action, and mindset to build a successful mission-based business.
As a leader, what are the factors both professional and personal that drive you? What keeps you going?
I am moved every day to find ways to provide the tools that will unleash the incredible potential that so many immigrants and their families have to offer. From the railroads to the mom-and-pop shops to the people who clean our home, grow and serve our food, and take care of our children, elders, and health, this country was and continues to be built by immigrant families. I believe immigrants and their families are the people who are best suited to envision and create new innovative solutions to address the many challenges of this country, particularly through the vast opportunities available on the internet through online business, where start-up costs are low and reach is infinite. I have seen what’s possible through the students we work with and want to do everything in my power to support them.
As a social entrepreneur, continuing to take risks and live in the zone of uncertainty has allowed me to create impactful new initiatives for social change. A large theme of what I teach my coaching students is how to embrace uncertainty, master money, and business mindset, and take risks despite fear to move from surviving to thriving, develop financial stability, and create mission-based businesses, bringing their soul purpose into reality and making the impact they’re meant to make in this world.
What gives me the strength to keep going despite the challenges is our students. Whenever I hear that one of our students not only became the first in their family to open an investment account but also opened investment retirement accounts for their parents and siblings, I know it’s all worth it. I am also floored whenever I witness one of our students take a leap of faith to work past their own mindset blocks to create the business of their dreams, start to get paid fairly for their value, time, and energy, and create something that will help change other people’s lives.
In your opinion, do digital events give you a similar level of feedback/result vis-à-vis the live versions? What would you say were the biggest pros and cons of both formats? Which do you prefer?
Although you often don’t receive the same level of feedback in a digital event, the right people will find your digital events and perhaps have a higher chance of engaging with them because they are more accessible. This is particularly important for people who want to grow, learn, and have access to opportunities that will expand their knowledge but are not able to travel in person because they can’t afford it, don’t have the needed visa, have family responsibilities, etc. There can be also more of an incentive for digital event participants who are interested to affirmatively reach out directly to connect since they cannot walk up to you in person. For these reasons, I prefer digital events.
What is your take on in-person events? Do you prefer in-person events as compared to hybrid or virtual? How soon do you think in-person events will return?
I prefer virtual events because it allows people from around the world and those who are unable to travel to be involved when otherwise they would not be able to do so. I think in-person events will gradually return in the next year so long as COVID-19 protocols are enforced but virtual events are here to stay.
In your opinion, what are the top 3 challenges to returning to ‘In-Person’ events? How could we mitigate risks?
Safety with COVID-19, accessibility to people in other countries and who are unable to travel to the event, and time commitment. Mitigation can occur through enforcing 6 feet of distance, proof of vaccine, and mask use and consistently providing virtual ways to participate.
Eventible has recently launched a B2B Interactive in Person Event Tracker, tell us what you think? Do you think this is useful?
That sounds very useful to facilitate more engagement and opportunities to share ways to connect.
Eventible.com is a review platform catering to B2B events. Given how review-driven our lives have become today, do you think reviews will bring in a level of transparency to the events industry? Would you rely on event reviews from other speakers if you had to make a speaking decision?
Finally, do you have a favorite mocktail or drink? We’d be delighted to know.
About Adina: Adina Appelbaum is an immigration attorney, financial and online business coach, podcaster, blogger, and social entrepreneur focused on empowering immigrant families. She co-created the Immigrant Finance™ platform with her husband Mauricio to share their journey building wealth as a family after Mauricio immigrated to the U.S. from Ecuador and they could not find anything on the internet about finances for immigrants. Their goal is to empower immigrants and their families with personal finance education and online business development so they can make the shift from surviving to thriving and build generational wealth. As an immigration lawyer, Adina was also inspired to raise awareness about finances for the immigrant community after representing hundreds of immigrants in their cases and seeing the significant impact of finances on people’s cases and lives. Adina holds a J.D. and M.P.P. from Georgetown University Law Center and has been honoured as Plutus Awards Finalist for Best Personal Finance Content for Underserved Communities, Fulbright Scholar, Public Interest Law Scholar, Equal Justice Works Fellow, and Strategic Impact Fund Scholarship Accredited Financial Counselor® Program awardee.