How to Be the Super Woman of Your Finances & Your Life, According to Nicole Lapin

Whether she's busy writing her next best-selling book with her wealth (no pun intended) of finance and career knowledge or hosting your new fave podcast on breaking down finances, Nicole Lapin is the definition of a boss. She's served as the youngest anchor in CNN history and brought her super woman advice to Her Conference this past summer.

We talked with Nicole about all-things burnout, overcoming the dreaded imposter syndrome, and her most recent book Becoming Super Woman: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Unlock Your Secret Power for Success. Keep reading to see what Nicole recommends for living your best life in all its aspects:

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How did you get interested or involved in finance and advocating for strategic money management?

NL: I hated finance growing up. I was really freaked out about the language of money. I grew up in an immigrant family, and many of the discussions I had were around cash, and I definitely didn’t know anything about stocks or bonds. The only bond thing I knew was Bond Girl. But, I needed a job, and it happened to be on the floor of the stock exchange in Chicago. I said, “yes,” and they asked me if I knew anything about businesses and I lied and totally said that I did, and I did not. I faked it until I made it and became more literate in the language of money.

Not only did I understand it, but I learned to speak it, and then I spoke it to the world. Fast forward ten years later I never expected to be teaching other people about it. It was a language that I never thought I would know myself. My advice around that is to fake it until you make it and understand that sometimes, people can do what they love, which a lot of career experts and financial experts will tell you to do; go out and do what you love. If you don’t have the luxury of doing what you love, and you just have a job, there are ways to make it your own and turn it into something you’re passionate about, not the other way around.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What are the biggest challenges you have faced working in the TV and media industry, specifically in joining CNN? How did you overcome these challenges?

NL: I faced a lot of challenges. I would say the biggest one was imposter syndrome. I think a lot of people, especially younger women, who struggle from imposter syndrome. I definitely didn’t feel like I belonged there. I thought that my badge wasn’t going to work every single day and I was surprised when it did. I thought that it was just all of a sudden going to shut off, and they would figure out that I’m 21 and I don’t know anything. It’s a journey for all of us to say we deserve what we have. Sometimes our biggest enemy is between our ears.

I auditioned with everybody else through a really long audition process at CNN. If you want to be an anchor, just know it takes many months and tests. I auditioned like other people, and I was the best one. I got the job fair and square. There was no connection that I had and there was nobody that made a phone call for me. I think it’s about becoming comfortable in your own skin and trying to deal with that imposter syndrome, because it doesn’t always go away. It lessens. There are more good days than bad days. There are more days that I don’t feel like an imposter, but some days that I do. In some very intimidating rooms where I think, “Do they know I don’t know anything?” I have to remind myself that I do. I belong here. 

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

NL: I just finished taping a podcast on iHeart called Hush Money with Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, where we talk about heavy money subjects. Our topic today was “do you buy yourself expensive stuff?” I said, “Yeah, you have to celebrate what you can do and how hard you work.” I’ll never forget I bought myself a DVF [Diane Von Furstenberg] wrap dress. Before then, I had the knockoff version. When I could afford to buy the real one I thought, “Oh my god, I did this.” I deserved that and I felt like I made it. I think it’s important to celebrate your hard work and celebrate yourself. That was the big symbol for me.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In Becoming Super Woman, burnout seems like a huge focus, which has become a real health crisis in the past few years. How can college students specifically begin to tackle that feeling of burnout?

NL: All of my books are 12-step-plan for a reason, and the first step is admitting that you have a problem. The biggest thing to tackle any issue is to not have any delusion about it. I think really list out what your issues are, and I have more issues than Vogue. I don’t think having problems is a bad thing; that's why I reframe my problems as superpowers. When you name them, I know that I’m more than a label, you’re more than a label, everybody is. But when you actually put a name to them, it takes away some of its power. I think you can list out different feelings. Nervousness and excitement are actually the same physiological sensation. It’s the way you look at it. You can say you’re sensitive and that’s a bad thing, or you can say you’re really empathetic, which is a really important quality.

For me, it was labeling if this was burnout, depression, or anxiety. Sometimes burnout comes along with other things too. I would say really hone in on what that looks like for you. For me, PTSD was my biggest thing to confront. It wasn’t that I wanted to not have it, it’s a part of who I am. It led to times where it was depression and hyper-vigilance which has helped contribute to the success of my career. If I didn’t have that, then I wouldn’t even have the platform to talk to you or to write the book. I had to reframe that problem as a superpower.

Where should college students start with money management?

NL: I tried to break it down into 12 steps — really complicated subjects are easier broken down into little chunks so they don’t feel as scary and overwhelming. I would say the first thing is to really think about your goals. Think about the life you want to live. Then, reverse engineer to figure out how to get the money to live the life you want. I get really specific by breaking it down to the four Fs: family, finance, fun and fitness. Once you identify your goals for each of them, it makes it more manageable when somebody like an in-law or a person in the elevator saying, “what do you want to do in ten years?” 

I thought generally I just wanted to crush it, and that is not a goal. I think before anything else, just really be honest with yourself. What type of fun do you want to have? Do you want to fly first class on a vacation? Do you want to buy a latte every day? Take note that that has a price tag, and so does family. If you want to have 10 kids or 10 cats, I don’t care — whatever you want is going to take money. Before you go off and try to start making money, figure out where that money is going to go and what type of life you want.

Any words of wisdom for the college student who's hustling to reach their dreams?

NL: In the last chapter I say that I love a good inspirational quote. My most favorite one, it’s hanging up and I see it every day, is “Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” I also just tattooed “Super woman” on my wrist. I think the idea of Super woman the character who has to do it all and be it all and be all things to all people.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Get your copy of Becoming Super Woman: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Go from Burnout to Balance!

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