On Work, Money, and the Rise of Female Entrepreneurship—Kerry Hannon, Author

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Episode Notes

Kerry Hannon is a leading authority and strategist on career transitions, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and retirement. The author of 13 books—and soon to be 14—she is currently an expert columnist and regular contributor to The New York Times, MarketWatch, and Forbes.

Kerry visited campus earlier this month as a guest of Notre Dame’s Inspired Leadership Initiative, a program that offers accomplished individuals who have completed traditional careers a one-year experience designed to further their impact on society and the world.

Here, she and host Ted Fox discussed how to think about work at different ages and stages of a career, from people who are just starting out to those 50 and over. The latter were the focus of her 13th book, Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life, which was published by Wiley in 2019 and was a No. 1 bestseller on Amazon.

They also talked about both the rising success of female entrepreneurs and the particular challenges women in the workforce still encounter as well as what a lot of us get wrong when it comes to money and loved ones.

One takeaway there: Don’t cheat in those family games of Monopoly.


Kerry’s latest book: Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life

Episode Transcript

*Note: We do our best to make these transcripts as accurate as we can. That said, if you want to quote from one of our episodes, particularly the words of our guests, please listen to the audio whenever possible. Thanks.

Ted Fox  0:00  
(voiceover) From the University of Notre Dame, this is With a Side of Knowledge, the show that invites scholars, makers, and professionals out to brunch for an informal conversation about their work. I'm your host, Ted Fox. This episode of With a Side of Knowledge is supported by Traditions Restaurant & Bar, located in the Embassy Suites directly across from the Notre Dame campus. Hours and other information are available at traditionsnd.com. If you see us recording there, feel free to stop by and say hi, preferably not when we're chewing. And when we're not recording, or chewing, you can always find us on Twitter, and now Instagram, too. In both spots, we are @withasideofpod.

Kerry Hannon is a leading authority and strategist on career transitions, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and retirement. The author of 13 books, and soon to be 14, she is currently an expert columnist and regular contributor to The New York Times, MarketWatch, and Forbes. Carrie visited campus earlier this month as a guest of Notre Dame's Inspired Leadership Initiative, a program that offers accomplished individuals who have completed traditional careers a one-year experience designed to further their impact on society and the world. During our time together, Kerry and I discussed how to think about work at different ages and stages of a career, from people who are just starting out to those 50 and over. The latter were the focus of her 13th book, Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life, which was published by Wiley in 2019 and was a No. 1 bestseller on Amazon. We also talked about both the rising success of female entrepreneurs and the particular challenges women in the workforce still encounter as well as what a lot of us get wrong when it comes to money and loved ones. One takeaway there? Don't cheat in those family games of Monopoly. (end voiceover)

Kerry Hannon  2:12  
Oh, this is so much fun. Thank you for inviting me.

Ted Fox  2:16  
Kerry Hannon, welcome to With a Side of Knowledge.

Kerry Hannon  2:18  
Well, thank you for inviting me. I appreciate it.

Ted Fox  2:22  
We've been talking for, we had to walk over here and then sitting here, I feel like we've known each other a while now as we sit down to do this, which makes it more fun.

Kerry Hannon  2:29  
Are we done with the podcast? (both laugh)

Ted Fox  2:31  
Well, I have some new questions left to ask. You've been covering careers, business, personal finance for three decades. And I'm wondering--and you've done this from all manner of angles--and I'm wondering, how do you think about work? What role do you think work, as part of our lives, what role should it occupy in our lives?

Kerry Hannon  2:54  
Oh my gosh, Ted, that is an amazing question. Because I think work is, and excuse me when I say this in a way, I think work is not a four-letter word, okay? (Ted laughs) Work is really what motivates us. It drives us. Work is what gets us up in the morning. It is something that, you know, you have to have, and I honestly believe this: Whatever job you're doing, you need to have a mission. There's a writer who I follow who's a leader called Simon Sinek, who writes some wonderful books, and he talks about you have to have your why. So for me, for work for me, is, Why do I do this? Why do I do the writing I do and so forth and the speaking? It's because I want to touch people's lives. So for me, my why is if I can change somebody--their approach to their personal finances or how they can fall in love with their job again or how they can get a job--all those things, that's my mission. So work should be an integral part of our lives, but it's how we give back.

Ted Fox  3:57  
I love that. Is the advice that you'd give someone fresh out of school--say, they're just starting out in a career--is the advice that you would give today any different than it would have been 30 years ago, say in 1990? Have the changes in the way we work, has it changed anything about how people, when they're first coming out of high school or college in their mid-20s, how they should be thinking about their careers and the way that they work?

Kerry Hannon  4:28  
Well, in general, a job hunt isn't dramatically different in the initial objectives of it, right? And you know, trying to find work that you can, you know, learn from, that you can use your skills and you can contribute in some way--and pays you.

Ted Fox  4:48  
(both laugh) That little detail.

Kerry Hannon  4:49  
But employers still hire people the way they always have: They hire people they know or people they know, know, for the most part. What has changed is there's so much with the job boards, with online, with zapping your resume through the Ethernet into this black hole that you never hear from anybody. It's incredibly frustrating. And so there's this sense of disconnect in that. And people have this idea that if they keep pushing out resumes this way, they're going to find jobs. But if you do not know somebody at a company, if you don't have a connection to get in the door for that interview, you're probably not going to get that job. So that I think is still the same. But how we go about marketing ourselves for a job, we have so many new tools in our kit to do that. And that's with, you know, having online profiles. So your LinkedIn profile for most jobs is essential. You're marketing yourself, even your Facebook page, your Twitter, all these things, your social media package, that's all part--employers are Googling you, they want to know about you. So that is different.

Ted Fox  5:54  
And I mean, I think even when you talk about making those connections, or having a connection with a place you're trying to work--to put it in a different context, a lot of the ways that I will think about this podcast, just to bring it home to that, is in terms of trying to get guests for the show. Sometimes making those connections, and it's going to what you're talking about with the online profiles and things like that, it might not even be a person that you've met or know personally, but you've invested some sort of time in trying to cultivate relationships so that when I invite someone to come on this show, or you are looking for a job somewhere, that maybe there is a friendly face, even if it's not a friendly face in the way that we've traditionally thought of, [for example] Oh, this is a person that I grew up with. It might be a person that, no, I've just invested in their work or getting to know them online or showing appreciation for what they do. And I would imagine that would be the kind of thing that could be really beneficial, then, in a job search.

Kerry Hannon  6:47  
It's so true, it is so true. Don't you feel like you know people that you're friends with online? You know, your Facebook, you've connected with them because they are a friend of somebody else's even, and you become friends with them. And you follow what they're doing, you feel like you know them. And so your secondary connections are more relevant than they ever used to be. I do believe, though, that in job hunting, I think we have a broader sweep of knowing who's hiring, right? You can go to a company's website, and I encourage people, think about, you know, bring it back to yourself: Who do you want to work for? What company or what nonprofit rings true to you? And no matter how old you are--you're starting out, you're mid-career, you're towards the end of your career--you know, pick a handful of those companies and really go to their websites, dig into their job boards, what positions are open there, then who do I know there? You can make it a more concentrated effort, and I think your rate of success is going to be much higher. The second piece, Ted, that is different, it's true from when I was growing up and to where people starting today: Your network--and I tell 20-somethings this all the time--your network is crucial. So all those people, your colleagues you're working with today, stay in touch, congratulate them when they get promoted, go to their weddings if you're invited, whatever it is--you know, you build these relationships, and they stay with you throughout your lifetime. So if you keep building this network--but you have to remember to, you know, stay in touch with people and remember to write those thank you notes or congratulations.

Ted Fox  8:17  
You're talking, you mentioned people kind of in mid-life career there, and I don't know what the answer to this would be--I guess that's why I'm asking the question. (both laugh) Is there anything that when someone is just starting out now, it's kind of the tail end of what I asked before: Should you have part of your horizon be 20, 30, 40 years down the road, what I see myself doing in my mid-life, towards the end of my career, when you're making decisions early on? Or is it more about, I guess, responding to what is driving you at that moment in time and thinking, Okay, it's going to kind of work out down the road with what I should be doing decades from now?

Kerry Hannon  8:58  
I gotta tell you, stay present.

Ted Fox  8:59  

Kerry Hannon  9:00  
Because in reality, we don't know what's coming down the road. We don't know the twists and turns, so you'll wake up one day, Oh, my gosh, I had no idea that my path was going to take me here. And you're grateful for it. But 20 years earlier, you would never have imagined. So, some of us do. I mean, I always knew I wanted to do what I'm doing today; I knew I always wanted to write books and all that. But, Ted, I didn't think I'd be writing books about money and careers, okay?

Ted Fox  9:25  
What did you ... 

Kerry Hannon  9:25  
I had that idea of writing books; I wanted to write fiction. (laughs) And I wanted to write about horses. (laughs) So even when I was a little girl, but it didn't--so yeah, my big picture dream came true, but it's not exactly how I visualized it. But what's important is when you get to that mid-life point, and truthfully kids--I shouldn't use that--young people today are changing jobs more frequently and careers more frequently than we ever did. I think there's much more of a patchwork quilt earlier on in one's career than there used to be, so be nimble. I think it's okay to be open. You don't have to have this linear 20-year career. So my nephews in their 30s and early 30s or just turning 30 and saying, you know, I want to find a work that I'm passionate about. I'm like, go for it, you should. But take the time to gather the skills. You have to have something to market.

Ted Fox  10:18  
One thing that I know is of particular interest for you is women in the workforce.

Kerry Hannon  10:24  

Ted Fox  10:25  
And I wanted to start by asking you, what challenges specifically confront women in the workforce that might not confront their male counterparts? And what impacts do those challenges have, both in terms of being in the moment, what you're doing at that time, and then maybe later on down the road, maybe the opportunities that you have when you're after 50 years old?

Kerry Hannon  10:49  
Yeah. Oh, that's a huge question. Ted, here's what's happened is women in the workplace, yes, there are more women graduating from college. There are more women working than there were in other generations. But the truth is, some of the things have not changed, alright? And I, you know, get on my soapbox here a little bit. Women still make 82% on the dollar, right? So there is this pay gap--not every job, not every profession, but yes indeed, there is this pay gap. And it is persistent. Women still work for companies that are nonprofits, or small businesses, or they work on contracts where they don't have access to retirement plans. Women tend to take time out of the workforce for caregiving, whether it's for children or for aging parents, and maybe it's seven years on average. Women tend to still--and this is slowly changing--live longer than their male counterparts. So they have medical expenses at the end of life. There's divorce, where women often come out not so great, and the average age of widowhood is somewhere at the late 50s, early 60s, which is shocking.

Ted Fox  11:54  

Kerry Hannon  11:55  
And so you have this landscape, right? What this means is that when you earn less, and you don't have access to a retirement plan, and you're out of the workforce, you're not saving appropriately for retirement, you're not setting money aside. And if you're not paid as much, you don't have as much to set aside, your employer doesn't match as much. When you're out of the workforce, you miss out on bonuses, you miss out on raises; it's not only your salary, you're missing all that other stuff that goes with it. This is reality. So what I encourage women is, you know, you've got to be really persistent, you have to try extra hard with the saving piece. Also, women tend to think of other people first, right? They would rather save for their kids' education than their own retirement. The kid can get a loan for college; you cannot get a loan for your retirement.

Ted Fox  12:43  

Kerry Hannon  12:43  
And so I spend a lot of time encouraging women. And women also--oh, gosh, I could go on. (Ted laughs) You know, they're not as confident about investing. Oh, I'm not good at math, or it bores me. And this is simply not true. These are just, they just say that because they're not comfortable with the lingo, they feel like it's one more thing on their to-do list. So they kick it down the curb, or they they defer to somebody else to make these decisions. And you have to, only you can care about your own money. And so I encourage women. When women start investing, they're better investors than men. Because they do their homework, they ask for help. They don't, you know, trade in and out of investments, they make a decision and they stick with it. And a guy will be like, Oh, you know, someone just gave me this hot tip, let me go invest in that. So they don't do that. And studies have shown that they can outperform their male counterparts. So now I've just gone on and on. But there are solutions, and it's not a desperate world here; you just have to pay attention.

Ted Fox  13:46  
Well, and you recently did a piece for MarketWatch, where you talked about some of the takeaways from last fall's American Express State of Women-Owned Business Report. And it seemed like there were some encouraging things that were going on--and I think we hit on these a little bit when we were talking before we started recording in terms of female entrepreneurship--and you hit on some of the ways that it's still a struggle right now. But what are some of the things that have been encouraging developments, especially in terms of women owning businesses and things like that?

Kerry Hannon  14:20  
Yeah, I just love this. Women are amazing. Just because I am one, I can say that. (Ted laughs) But women are starting businesses faster than their male counterparts at almost every age, but especially over the age of 50, right? This is a global movement. This is just not in the U.S. And there's lots of reasons for this. One of it is that if women have taken time out of the workplace to be at home with their kids, it's hard to get back in the workplace, it's hard to be valued. Start your own business, you can be your own boss, you can, you know, you can decide how much money you want to make. It is amazing because women are, as I just mentioned, they're great investors; that's why they're great entrepreneurs. They're willing to ask for help. They partner up with people, they take their time, they go slow. Women tend to start their businesses on the side. So sidepreneurship is what the American Express study refers to. And that's not a bad thing. Because instead of diving right in, they may be in a full-time position, but they're starting their business on the side; that gives it the chance to grow. It can grow organically, there's not this pressure that they need the income from that to survive and pay their mortgage or contribute to the household income. This is a wonderful way to start a business. And so I see a lot of that happening. And then they grow into things. The hardest piece for women is getting capital to start their business. And so this is a challenge. It is getting better, it is definitely getting better, crowdfunding is one way that women have success. They're actually more successful than their male counterparts in this way because they create a narrative with their customer, they have this way of networking and bringing their troupe together to kind of build their business that way. So they're really--female entrepreneurship is truly on the rise.

Ted Fox  16:06  
I think, you know, solutions develop when there's problems like traditional access to capital. And I think one of the cool things about crowdfunding--and I did an episode, I guess it was in season two with one of the co-founders of Kickstarter--and it was, it's that idea of not only are these folks who are participating in the crowdfunding giving you the capital to start, but you're having almost then this built-in group of people then who are invested in actually seeing you succeed, and then hopefully are going to support that business to get it to viability. And then it grows beyond that.

Kerry Hannon  16:39  
No, it's a wonderful model for it. And that also plays into this idea of women go slow. So you start with a Kickstarter campaign or an Indiegogo or whatever it is. And you can start with a small amount of money, you don't need to have a huge goal. And you build your business in stages, and you bring your customers and your supporters along with you.

Ted Fox  16:58  
So your most recent book--when you talk about your 14th is coming out soon--and the most recent, number 13, ties in with, I think, what you were talking about with the folks in our Inspired Leadership Initiative here last night. It's called Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life. And I'm wondering what the landscape is like for someone thinking about starting a business after the age of 50. And I saw you point this out on, I think it was on your website, it might have been somewhere else, that the image a lot of us carry around in our heads of someone getting ready to start a business is kind of like the Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur, 21-years-old, had this crazy idea, and we don't tend to think of people after the age of 50 as starting businesses. But I think you have a different story to tell there.

Kerry Hannon  17:46  
Well, the truth is people over 50 are starting businesses at a faster clip than any age cohort. I mean, they're starting them more, you know, more rapidly than someone in their 20s or 30s. And those are statistics from the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City. That is encouraging. And again, it's not just U.S., this is happening across the globe. Because we're living longer, presumably healthier lives, there is this longevity bonus. I mean, you have no idea what--someone in this age group has so much to offer. And it's not a business for five years; it can be a business for another 10, 15 years. Or if you start a business with one of the areas I get into in the book, senior-junior partnerships, which is a wonderful way to have the synergy of the two generations working together to build a business. So what we're seeing is more starting businesses. And the cool thing is, MIT did, some of the researchers did a survey last year that came out and showed that businesses started by this age group are more successful than those by a younger cohort. Oh my gosh, who would think that's true? But it's true for a lot of reasons. Because the older entrepreneur comes to this with the experience, with the marketing chops, with the network, they have marketing capital, often they have money to help start and to launch a business. But most importantly, they've had the setbacks, they have the gravitas, what they didn't know before they know now. So they bring something to an endeavor that a younger entrepreneur probably doesn't have the experience yet to do.

Ted Fox  19:21  
So I've asked about people just starting out, I've asked about people after the age of 50. I'm going to take the opportunity to be a little self-serving here (Kerry laughs)--and assuming there's some people in my demographic listening--I can no longer count myself among the young people cohort at the age of 40. But I'm not to the point yet where I might be looking at that, Okay, this is my after-50 time in my life. Is there any--someone in my position, at the age of 40, kind of mid-life, early middle age, however you want to describe it--is there anything different that someone at that point should be thinking about in terms of their career?

Kerry Hannon  20:05  
Right, right. Well, you're not having a mid-life crisis yet. (Ted laughs) I know that. I know that. And I also know from talking to you that you absolutely love what you do.

Ted Fox  20:12  
I do, it's true.

Kerry Hannon  20:13  
And the beauty of what you do is you can be very nimble, and you can go in lots of directions because you have communication skills. So I think at this age, this is a perfect time to do that inner MRI, to really look inside yourself. Do that, What am I really good at? Really analyze, what are your skills? What do you really love to do? What are you not doing that you would like to do? What are some passions that at this point you've had to set aside as you were working to, you know, earn money, and you're saving money for your kids' education and, you know, paying a mortgage? And you still are in the middle of that stuff, there's no question about that. But this is a time to start thinking about where, you know, where am I? Who am I? What are my dreams? Because it takes a long time to make transitions and to make shifts. This is a good time to start thinking and put your wish list, your curiosity list, together--Oh, this would be curious. And you start having this little dialogue with yourself. And so there might be a couple areas as you move along in your career that you may want to move into, and if you think, You know, this is an area I might want to shift to, any career transition takes around five years. So this is a time to say, Ahh, I think I'll take a class in that. Or maybe I might volunteer over here and see if that gets me excited again. 

Because often people start to feel a little burned out at this stage. Maybe the promotions aren't coming as quickly as they once did. They're feeling stuck, like they're not getting, their employer in a situation like that isn't giving them the workplace opportunities to learn more and advance, and you need to raise your hand and say, I want those extra duties, I want to be considered for that program, that education program, whatever it is. If they don't do that, go and take some of those classes on your own. Lifelong learning starts in your 40s--it starts in your 20s, really--but in your 40s, don't be complacent, don't get in a rut. This is a time that it's really easy to get, I don't want anyone to rock the boat, you know, I want to keep getting this paycheck or whatever. So really start to, you know, push yourself a little bit. As I said, take that class, do that volunteering. Talk to people who do jobs that sort of fascinate you in some way. And it's that curiosity list, having that bucket over here. You'll move forward, you'll have other options, but never stop learning and adding skills. Because even if your employer is not telling you, you need them, add them because you need to be relevant. Also, and I'll wrap this question up, is that when you're learning something new, your whole world shifts, your mind shifts, you listen better, you are open to ideas, you're open-minded. And I cannot explain, there's one thing you can do at any age, but particularly in your 40s, where you're kind of at that zone, go learn something new. Whatever it is, go learn something new.

Ted Fox  22:58  
I feel good then because the podcast was something that I developed like a year or two ago, and it was an old interest in radio that came back and said, Wow, I wonder if this could be a part of doing work at a university. So ...

Kerry Hannon  23:12  

Ted Fox  23:12  
I feel good about it for the university, but that felt very personally ... (laughs)

Kerry Hannon  23:15  
You're my poster board. Yes, yes, yes. Excellent. (laughs)

Ted Fox  23:19  
So we've been talking really about careers and work. But I wanted to shift a little bit. And this is more in the personal finance realm because you had a piece in The New York Times that I thought was--it immediately rung true, but it was so interesting to me. And it was about siblings and parents and even grandparents talking about the family money. And in the case of the family through which you introduced the story, there was a large amount of money at stake. But I really imagine that the lessons that could be learned from that apply to any family where there's any amount of money or a home or a car or whatever it might be passing from one generation to the next. What do families get wrong in the ways they talk, or maybe they don't talk, about that? And you know, we think of like an estate, Oh, it has to be this huge thing, but people place value on a lot of different things, and it doesn't have to be something worth millions of dollars, I imagine, for people to really expose some frays in some relationships.

Kerry Hannon  24:27  
Yeah. No, Ted, you're right. It is fraught, money and families. It really can be perilous territory regardless of the sum of money or the wealth in the family. Here's the interesting thing, is your relationship with your siblings is the longest relationship of your life. This is something we need to treasure and hold onto, and what happens is money-- parents do play favorites, right? They don't mean to. But they do. And parents also don't want to talk about money. Because if they have some money, they don't want kids to feel that they're privileged in some way, or that they don't have to work hard to achieve things. They want them to stay motivated. And so there's all kinds of reasons why parents don't want to talk about money. And then the siblings have these perceived [ideas] of favoritism, perhaps, that happens, and resentment grows up over it. Something that happened in your childhood, 20 years, 30 years later, is still under the surface bubbling. So that when there's a breaking point, say a parent dies or something, it can be really brutal. Some of this stuff comes to the surface. And then even at later stages of life, there might be--siblings have different, some are more successful than others financially. Some are, you know, doing exactly what they want, but maybe not have the funds or the money to do stuff. Or one may need more help from the parent over time.

So say a sibling where parents have to go into an assisted care place or something. And that's super expensive, right? And one sibling has been successful financially, and they end up paying for a lot of that, right? So it's not a financial burden for them necessarily. But they feel a resentment that their other siblings aren't contributing what they are, and the other siblings are trying to do what they can. So what I encourage people to do is, try really hard to get these things out in the open whenever you can. Talk about money issues in a formal way; you might need a mediator kind of person to be there as you start to put a family plan together. But the more we can talk about money, the better things will be, and you know, we want to help each other out, generally speaking, but I think it can really create some pretty dangerous things when one parent--and even naming one child as the executive of your estate over another, that again, like this kid, you know, one sibling will think, You know, my brother, like, cheated at Monopoly; why should he be in charge of this? (both laugh) So it's just trying to have these money discussions, and it's really very, very important to family relations, and holding onto our siblings; we don't want to lose them. And this is not a good way to do it.

Ted Fox  27:19  
And that, I mean, I would think that would be the best advice, too, for just talking about money generally with people that we need to be in those kinds of relationships with. Because I think about spouses or whomever else, even if it's not a case of an inheritance, it feels like so often that conversations about money--how much of it we have, how much of it we don't have or whatever--are taboo even among, you know, theoretically, your spouse should be the person that you're closest with in the world. But these conversations seem to so often get pushed down. And then it's these times in our lives where these external factors come to bear and all of a sudden, it's Whoa, I didn't know that we were carrying that much resentment or that much anger over that decision that we made. And it would seem that being as open, as transparent with each other as possible, regardless of whether an inheritance is involved, it's probably beneficial for everyone.

Kerry Hannon  28:15  
No, it's huge. And for couples, I'm glad you mentioned that for couples, because here we are in early February when we're talking here, Valentine's Day is coming up. And one thing you could do as a gift to your spouse or your partner is, Let's talk about money, let's make a money date. I try to have money dates with my husband, and I get stomachaches over them. And I know about money, I know I need to have these conversations. But you've got to do this because marriage at its very essence is a business relationship. And you have to be transparent. It doesn't mean, one, you are not asking permission, necessarily. But you need to be as transparent as you can be because the one thing that couples fight about more than anything is money. Money is what breaks people up. Money is, you know, it can be so divisive. And so these are hard conversations, but it doesn't have to be. It's just simple things like, Here's what's going on, you know, we've got this we're paying for, we've got this--say it's early in the year, you think about what financial obligations you have moving forward this year. I've got two of my nieces, one niece and one nephew, are getting married, so I know I've got to travel for those. I've got wedding presents, I'm giving a shower for the one. So these are, I say to my husband, Listen, we got these things coming up, I want to make sure it's in our budget, you know, so that there are no surprises. This is going to be a year of, you know, spending on good things. (Ted laughs) But we need to be aware of it. So have those money conversations, those money dates.

Ted Fox  29:38  
So if there were one thing from this conversation that we've had or one thing from your work more generally, someone listening to this, that you would hope that they would take away in terms of how they think about these things, how they think about their careers, how they think about their finances, what would that be? Could you put your finger on kind of one high-level takeaway that you hope people, if they've listened to this podcast, that they would take with them?

Kerry Hannon  30:07  
Okay. Yeah, that's hard.

Ted Fox  30:09  
These are all--I know, these are the questions the interviewers love to ask, and then the person answering them is like, It's tough to do one.

Kerry Hannon  30:16  
Okay, so I'm gonna go off on this one. Money is the biggest stumbling block to following your dreams for most people, and debt is a dream killer, and debt--if you are financially fit, you have opportunities, you can be nimble, you can accept jobs that you really want to do. Because you're not stuck on a certain paycheck that you have to have. You're not locked in, you can try new careers, you can try new paths. You have a willingness to experiment. If you are, you know, really lean and mean and you're not running up credit card debts and all these things, which we do. And it happened to me in my 20s. I know how frightening that can be. But truly, take control of your financial life, and it will just roll through the rest of your life and make things much easier.

Ted Fox  31:07  
Kerry Hannon, this has been a pleasure. Thank you for making time to talk to me while you're here. 

Kerry Hannon  31:11  
Thank you, Ted. I loved it.

Ted Fox  31:12  
(voiceover) With a Side of Knowledge is a production of the Office of the Provost at the University of Notre Dame. Our website is provost.nd.edu/podcast.