Nancy Phillips, Author & Speaker
Mission: to help improve the financial and life success skills of our youth globally.
Goal: to help 15 million families teach their children financial life skills by 2017.
How the Journey Began
Do you ever wonder how best to help your children follow their passions and achieve their full potential in today's complex world? Or how to prepare your kids effectively for life on their own when things are so different from when we were young? When we ask these questions of ourselves, we realize we don’t have forever to pass on the key lessons of life we want to share with our children.
In 2007 after a serious injury when my eldest child Natasha was four, I began asking these questions. What exactly do I need to teach Natasha and Max to help them succeed and be happy in this rapidly changing world? I began to look for resources that would help me teach my children what they would need to know right from young childhood through the teen years when they were getting ready to “launch” into independent, adult life. I wanted comprehensive resources that combined financial skills along with the "human" life skills, like values based goal setting, understanding the power of gratitude and philanthropy, and respecting diversity. I wanted to make sure these family lessons were fun, a wonderful sharing experience, and I knew stories were one of the best ways to learn and create long-term memories.
I couldn’t find the resources I was looking for, so I began an intensive global review of the literature; books, academic studies, articles and interviews. After researching the best practices extensively, I realized somebody needed to synthesize this information into something simple, fun and easy to use. This way kids would have the guidance they needed to reach their full potential in life, and parents and teachers would have a simple framework to use along with the tools they needed in order to be able to teach the skills easily and confidently.
During this time, I had just left my corporate career to spend more time with my young children and within one year my life changed dramatically. I began going through a separation, I experienced a major, debilitating injury, my toddler had health challenges - and then the recession hit! More than ever I wanted to clarify these answers to help my children have the tools they would need for a happy and successful life during both the good times and challenging times. I began to realize that parents all over the world needed the same information I did. One evening I thought, “it could be years before someone develops resources like this, should I do it? Someone has to develop a road map to help us all.”
Thankfully the next morning I got a very clear message. The first thing I saw in writing was a quote from Gandhi: “be the change you want to see in the world.” That was it! I committed there and then to develop resources so families everywhere could help their children learn the skills they need to follow their passions and contribute their incredible natural gifts to society.
While I will always be a "student" looking for leading edge concepts to help our youth succeed in today's world, I’m thrilled to now share these resources with parents, grandparents, children and organizations globally so we can help our families live a bright and fulfilling future.
We can do it!!
Bachelor of Science degree, Kinesiology
Executive Masters of Business Administration
Current: Founder and President of DollarSmartKids Enterprises, Inc.
Past: While working in the corporate world for almost twenty years, Nancy held positions in product development, portfolio management and international business for three of the world’s leading medical companies.
The Zela Wela Kids financial story book series currently includes four titles. They address topics such as: the difference between needs and wants, the different uses for money, the importance of saving, entrepreneurship, and the “give, invest, save and spend” or GISS Method of money management.
Co-author of the 2011 best-selling entrepreneur book “Pushing to the Front” with world renowned business author Brian Tracy.
The Parents Guide to Kids and Money, 2012
How to Teach Your Children the Most Critical Financial Life Skills 2012
The Steps to Success Teen Guide November 2014
Forthcoming Spring 2015 - The Parents Guide to Teens and Money