Facing your finances can be one of the most daunting things about adulthood; Octavia Ramirez wants to make it one of the most liberating. As the founder of Paper & Coin, a financial coaching service for Millennials, she's making your financial literacy her business by creating an accepting space where this generation's young professionals can get the right help towards their financial freedom. This Work It Wednesday, we got the chance to pick Octavia's brain about her journey to make your money #workit as hard as you do.
1. First off, tell us about yourself! Who is Octavia Ramirez?
The million-dollar question that keeps me up at night! Oh boy...where to begin? The best way I could describe myself is as an ambitious, outgoing, and personable woman that’s determined to make the most of this life she’s been blessed with. I had a wonderful, nurturing childhood, have always been surrounded by a great support system of friends and family, and have enjoyed the many benefits of being born and raised in a country where every opportunity was made available to me through hard work, perseverance, and determination. All that to say, I truly feel that it is my duty and responsibility not only to wholeheartedly pursue the dreams in my own heart, but to lead and guide others to do the same. By teaching, equipping, and empowering Millennials about money, I’m helping my generation get that much closer to realizing their own dreams in the most practical, and tangible way.
2. When I came across your business, Paper & Coin, it was like the universe was showing me exactly what I needed. So many young adults don’t have a clue about their finances or where to start with them! Where do you come in?
There are so few resources available to Millennials where they can meet with a real person who will sit down with them and actually teach them about money in the context of their own financial situation. Sadly, there’s this stigma attached to the subject of money which keeps so many people from getting the guidance they need. So, they resort to navigating their personal finances in the dark, simply hoping for the best. Paper & Coin gives Millennials the opportunity to go over their unique financial details and situation, and ask the questions they can’t ask anywhere else. Our step-by-step framework prioritizes debt repayment, so that our clients can experience greater financial margin and freedom, and also teaches them the basics of investing. Once clients receive their comprehensive financial plan, they have the option of either executing it on their own, or opting into our coaching subscription program where they have monthly check-ins with their dedicated coach to track progress on their financial goals.
3. What piece of advice would you give to someone living in a state of worry over their finances?
More often than not, our clients come to their coaching session feeling worried about their finances, but leave feeling empowered and encouraged. Why? Because now they are fully aware of their situation, and have been equipped with an actual, tangible plan with which to slay the situation. Most of our worry stems from not knowing what to do or even where to begin. If that’s you, stop everything, and establish a plan - it’s the surefire way to avoid financial worry, and get some sleep at night.
4. What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to do my own thing and be my own boss. When I worked a full-time job, I hated being constrained to my desk, or to particular working hours, or an allotted amount of vacation days. So, needless to say, having freedom over my schedule and workflow is my favourite thing about being an entrepreneur. That being said, I’m often working well into the evening and night, or on the weekends. But, I love what I do, and since I’m steering my own ship, I don’t mind putting in the extra work.
5. We love that you share your journey so honestly on social media. What’s a lesson you’ve learned about building a business (and a life!) in front of an audience?
By far, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that “haters gon’ hate”...like, actually, though. I’d obviously heard this said before, but truly experienced it recently with random trolls leaving negative comments on my Instagram, and even emailing me with messages to belittle and bully me. Honestly, it really bothered me at first, but now, I just let it roll off my back. There’s always going to be someone who is jealous of you and wants to bring you down, but you have to keep going and doing what you feel you’re put on their Earth to do, regardless of what other people think.
And, I also feel it’s important to shed light on what life is truly like as a entrepreneur, especially in the building stages. Too often we’re only seeing people’s wins, and not their losses, which can be discouraging and unrealistic. I’m open and honest about my journey on social media because it’s what I wished I’d seen as I was getting started, and it helps people feel that they’re not alone as they go through the ups and downs of pursuing their own dreams.
6. What’s next for you and Paper & Coin?
I’m in the process of hiring a few key positions for the Paper & Coin team, and also working on developing programs for freelancers and small business owners to get their business finances on track. We’re partnering with some key brands to create products and services to reach a broader client base, and will also be releasing some new guides over the coming months, similar to our “How to Travel Without a Credit Card” guide. Needless to say, we’ve got our work cut out for us, but we’re so excited to bring new content and services to Canadian Millennials.
7. Let’s spread the love! What are some Toronto feeds that you love to follow?
One of my favourite bloggers, @ThisRenegadeLove, also happens to be from Toronto. Not only is she one of the most authentic voices in the lifestyle space, she generously offers a wealth of information for aspiring bloggers, which is so indicative of her spirit and incredible personality.
I also love following my friends over at @Likeminds.Studio, a collaborative workspace near Trinity Bellwoods where creative entrepreneurs are making magic. I’m particularly a fan of their regularly Girl Hangs workshops where they gather like-minded women from across the city to meet, learn, and grow together on a variety of different topics.
8. How do you #workit everyday?
One of the best ways that I #workit is by taking myself and my work seriously. I make and stick to a schedule as I would at any other job (with some flexibility, of course!). I try my best to speak life over myself, especially in those moments when I’m feeling discouraged, or doubting my own abilities. And, honestly, I #workit by giving myself grace. As entrepreneurs, we’re so results-driven that we can come down on ourselves way too hard if we miss the mark. I have to acknowledge my limitations, plan around them, and remember that I’m only human. A bad-ass human, but still a human. I #workit by being real with myself and everyone around me.
And that's (literally) all she wrote, friends! We want to send a huge thank you to Octavia for spending some time with us. Find Paper & Coin on Instagram at @paperandcoin and online at paperandcoin.ca to book your free consultation and get regular updates to work your finances!