There aren’t many people who can open an event as keynote speaker for the likes of Erin Brockovich or go on trade missions with President Bill Clinton, but Barb Stegemann is one of the few, thanks to her insight and wit.
Stegemann’s entrepreneurial rise came on the heels of creating The 7 Virtues, a company that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil — Afghanistan, Haiti, the Middle East and Rwanda. She’s since been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada.
On Jan. 16, Stegemann takes the stage yet again as keynote speaker for The Society of Financially Empowered Women Foundation (The FEW) at the 2020 Confidence: Women + Wealth + Wellness Summit (CW3 Conference) in Palm Springs. The event, sponsored by Blanke Schein Wealth Management, Palm Springs Life, Marlo Productions, Evolve Yoga, Greater Palm Springs, and Scape Group, Inc., will include a diverse audience of women — from working mothers and entrepreneurs to retirees and local college and high school students.
Stegemann, the author of The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, will also share her journey with summit participants. A book signing unfolds during a happy hour event. She unveils more with Palm Springs Life.
What excites you most about being keynote speaker at the event?
I’m excited about being in Palm Springs. All generations of people will be there, and this is a topic that we’re excited to be talking about — financial health. It’s also a topic women need to be talking about and thinking about so that we can live with dignity into our final years and pass that torch onto young people so that they can manage their money and come to it from a holistic approach. It’s really clever what The FEW created.
This is your first time here?
Yes. I have never been to Palm Springs. It’s ridiculous because I listen to Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. I’m very excited on a personal level. On a selfish level, I am very excited because I probably won’t want to leave. You know, in Canada, all the snowbirds here in Nova Scotia where I live, go to Florida. And all of my friends on the West Coast — Vancouver — they go Palm Springs. It’s sort of this mystical, beautiful place that my friends always talk about. And now I get to go. I always thought: “How glamorous to go to Palm Springs.”
Your book became a best-seller and your entrepreneurial world is in high gear. Why do you do what you do?
I was blessed to be given the gift of poverty. I didn’t feel it was that at the time, but certainly as I’ve aged, I realized what the gift was in having very little and having to be very resourceful. I now treat everything as if I’ve just walked through the Narnia closet door. I’m so excited about everything. That passion and that excitement can lead you to very successful, joyous, happy living because of that gratitude. I’ve always been taught when you had little that you have certain gifts, and that those gifts are not yours to keep. You have to share them in service to others.
"The most exciting thing is watching somebody wake up to their own powers."
The ripple effects of that seem positive.
Yes. Not only does that give us a sense of humble confidence to do things, but it also helps you break through fear — "somebody won’t like me,” for instance — and that’s all tied to ego. When you focus solely on your gifts and that they were given to you and you don’t have a right to keep them to yourself, that helps you go out and look for opportunities to go out and do good things and to also be successful at them.
What can people expect from your talk?
I get to share my stories and share The 7 Virtues. It’s empowered both men and women to launch businesses or go into office, whatever your gift to others is, and get people back to their own answers and their own awakening. The most exciting thing is watching somebody wake up to their own powers. I make sure that during these talks there are a lot of laughs. We have to have a break from all that “awakening.”
What do you feel is one of the biggest misconceptions about money that tends to trip people up?
I was raised in poverty, and I watched my parents make very poor financial decisions because they had not been shown other ways to do things. You only know what you know. In poverty, my mother was of the notion that the money was burning a hole in your pocket, because when you finally have some money, you feel as if you just have to go and do something with it, and not that sense of delayed gratification — putting some money away. It doesn’t matter how much you start with. The person that puts money away, always ends up with more money. So it’s important to invest but also to enjoy your money, too, and knowing that it can bring pleasure —not happiness. That’s key. And it’s really about balance and having a healthy attitude about money. I think a lot of us come with baggage from our backgrounds so it’s good to keep learning. That’s why an event like this is important because it includes all generations. I’m 50, and I’m excited that I get to learn a little bit more when I’m there.
Barb Stegemann will speak at The Society of Financially Empowered Women Foundation (The FEW) at the 2020 Confidence: Women + Wealth + Wellness Summit, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 16, at The Riviera Palm Springs. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For tickets, visit squadup.com.