Melissa Fradenburg | DET Member Spotlight
1. What is the name of your business and can you tell us a little bit more about it?
I’m a Wealth Advisor at Lakeshore Financial Planning. I provide financial planning and investment management specifically to women. However, through this niche, I have found my process valuable to couples seeking collaboration on financial matters as well as women facing a life transition. My passion is empowering women to feel confident in their ability to make financial decisions, no matter their relationship status.
2. What has been your biggest win as an entrepreneur thus far?
The biggest win for me is when I get to experience my clients transformation into a more confident and self-reliant version of themselves. Often when women come to me after losing a spouse to death or divorce, they’re scared and don’t know what their new “financial reality” is going to look like. Through the planning process my goal is to make them feel more secure in both their ability to make financial decisions as well as the ability to sleep at night knowing that they will not run out of money if they stick to the plan.
3. Where do you find daily motivation and inspiration?
Networking with other female business owners has been a great inspiration to me. Working in a very male dominated industry where many of my competitors approach growing their business in a totally different way than I do, it’s nice to learn how women in other professions have found success. While there are stereotypes of women being catty in the business world, I have been blessed to find a great community of like-minded business women who genuinely support one another.
4. What is the best piece of advice you have received and who was it from?
My mother told me as a young girl to always have something of your own because you can’t depend on a man. I’m happily married and thankful that I was able to take time off from a career when my children were younger. While it’s not always easy being a working mother and building a business while caring for young children, it is absolutely worth it to feel ownership and pride in something outside the home. If it were not for her advise I may not have returned to my pre motherhood career—and I’m so thankful that I did.
5. What is your morning routine?
I try to get up at least 30 minutes before my kids to enjoy a peaceful cup of coffee while organizing a to-do list or just enjoying the silence. After waking them about 6:30 am things can get hectic with making breakfast, packing lunches, quizzing for spelling tests etc. I often take them to school in my pjs and come back to shower and get into the office or to my first meeting of the day. My goal is to get up even earlier to work out before the day starts but have been unsuccessful with that so far.
6. What is your favorite podcast?
HER MONEY with Jean Chatzky
7. Something that most people wouldn’t know about you:
I know what it’s like to struggle financially. I think people often assume I came from a wealthy family as I grew up in a nice suburb on the east coast, attended a prestigious boarding school and am currently blessed to be living a very comfortable life in Grosse Pointe. However, I’m the daughter of a nurse and a teacher who divorced when I was 7. I was able to attend boarding school tuition free since my father taught there and my mother often worked two jobs to pay for clothing and extra-curriculars. I took on school loans, had both a work-study job and a bar tending job through college. Having been surrounded by friends who came from great wealth in both high school and college, as well as having parents who were not great at managing their money inspired me to get into finance. Having experienced both lifestyles has given me perspective and helped me to better serve my clients.