Music Mondays – Kinky Boots

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Lessons from Kinky Boots

I would call myself a theater geek. From the moment I was in summer camp in 4th Grade and sang “One” from A Chorus Line, I was hooked. When I was younger, I was painfully shy and insecure and the theater gave me an outlet to grow and express myself. I continued with this passion through high school; however, I became more “practical” in college and focused on my business major instead of acting, but I never lost my love for the art form. Living in New York, I have access to numerous shows on Broadway and I try to indulge as much as possible. Through Facebook, I discovered that a friend of mine (whose mom choreographed the high school plays I acted in) was cast in a new musical, Kinky Boots, which was written by Harvey Fierstein with music by Cyndi Lauper. The fact that Jeff was in the show alone made it a certainty that I would see it, but the creative combination of Fierstein and Lauper made me even more enthused. I was fortunate enough to see the show twice while it was in previews and I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had in the theater in a long time.

The musical tells the story of Charlie Price whose father passes away unexpectedly and leaves him with a family shoe manufacturing business that Charlie was not planning on running. Despite this change in plans, he takes over but after being inspired by a drag queen, Lola, Charlie decides to make shoes for drag queens instead. We hear the song, “Take What You Got” early in the play after Charlie loses his dad. This song not only provides a lesson in life, but a lesson in finances. Through the song, Charlie’s friend tells him that when life hands you something unexpected then sometimes you need to change course and re-write your life. These “life surprises” happen to all of us. And sometimes they have a financial impact as in the loss of a spouse, a job, or the unexpected gift of a child. As in the case of Charlie, we should not let this get us down, rather we should view this as an opportunity to re-write our lives and find something new and wonderful in that re-write. Charlie never expected to run his dad’s shoe company; however, when he took on that challenge, his life became something more rich and special. You may not have wanted to lose your job, move to a new city or take a pay cut; however, you have been given a gift to re-write the direction of your life. Embrace it and plan for it. You may have temporary pain while you are adjusting, but in the long run, it can be a beautiful gift.

When I create financial plans for clients, I always want them to prepare for the unexpected events in life. Even though we may not want these things to transpire, sometimes they are not in our control. What is in our control is how we respond to them and how we move forward. Sometimes you have to “take what you got, even when your life is in knots” but that doesn’t mean that when you “re-write the plot” it won’t have a brilliant ending.

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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