Show Up Real is a show dedicated to putting more cash in the hands of Women of Color.

Hosted by multiple six-figure business coach Catalina Del Carmen, she shares strategies that keep your business simple, your mindset focused, your bank account big, and your impact even bigger. Listen to the weekly episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. 



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Meet the host

Catalina Del Carmen is a wife, mom, first-generation Guatemalteca, and multiple six-figure business coach. She keeps it real week after week, sharing the mindset, marketing, and sales strategies that keep your coaching business simple while still massively profitable and impactful.

250. Building an Authentic Community with Gigi

Today I talk with Giovanna Gonzalez, also known as Gigi, about ways to build an authentic community.

Hear how Gigi grew her following online and listened to her audience to create relevant and relatable content that made her money.

Listen to Gigi’s story and all about her new book, Cultura & Cash, a jargon-free money guide to help you tackle your finances as a First Gen Latina.

Join the Webinar: Increase Your Sales & Audience By 25% Using Profitable Content, happening Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at 5pm Pacific Time. Click here to sign up for free.

Buy the book, Cultura & Cash, at

Learn more about Gigi, the First Gen Mentor, at

For more on Cat Del Carmen, follow her on Instagram @CatDelCarmen and visit


Cat Del Carmen: [00:00:00] What is up y’all. If you have not signed up to my upcoming webinar, I want to invite you now. Join me in my free webinar. I’m going to teach you how to increase your sales and audience by 25 percent using profitable content. Learn why great content doesn’t equal sales in the simple steps you can take to shift your content from being likable to profitable.

Cat Del Carmen: Creating content that actually gets sales calls and signups is simple. It’s not tedious. It doesn’t have to be mind blowingly creative and you don’t have to hire a team to help you. What slows down your process from a revenue generating content is overthinking, overanalyzing and trying to get it perfect.

Cat Del Carmen: Join me in my free webinar where I’m sharing the simplest content creation strategy in the internet. Industry. I’ll be teaching you how to build trust, create more effective call to actions, and build an audience that wants to buy. Inside my free training, you’ll learn number one, how to shift your mindset away from [00:01:00] metrics and focus on conversions.

Cat Del Carmen: Number two, the difference between audience building content versus revenue generating content. And lastly, my four step process to create profitable content quickly that feels honest, authentic, and you. This masterclass is happening June 4th at 5 p. m. Pacific time. Join me in my free webinar

Cat Del Carmen: I cannot wait to see you there.

Cat Del Carmen: My name is Catalina Del Carmen, and I am a wife, mother of two, daughter of immigrants. And a rule breaking business coach for women of color coaches, creatives, and service professionals. I spent years trying to figure out the online business game, creating fashion blogs, YouTube channels, Instagram pages, email [00:02:00] lists, all of the things with little or nothing to show for it.

Cat Del Carmen: Now, I run a growing multiple six figure coaching business, keeping things radically simple so I could spend more time with my babies than my business inside my programs, show up real and show up and lead mastermind. I teach my clients how to build an online community using authentic revenue generating content that doesn’t require them to be everywhere, whether it’s your first four figures in business or six.

Cat Del Carmen: Figures in my mastermind. Less is more when you are committed to growing your impact and revenue at the same time. In this show, I tell the whole mother effing truth about what it takes to build and scale an online business. I don’t gatekeep, I don’t tell you half the truth. I keep it real and I will challenge you to do it as well.

Cat Del Carmen: Welcome to Show Up Real podcast.[00:03:00] 

Cat Del Carmen: What is up y’all? Welcome back to show up real podcast. I hope you are doing so, so, so well. If you have not signed up for my upcoming webinar happening June 4th, join right now. The link is below in the show notes, or if you go on my Instagram, you could sign up there too. My Instagram is @catdelcarmen. I’m so excited about this webinar.

Cat Del Carmen: I’m going to be teaching community building and revenue building at the same time, and I’m really sharing a perspective that helped me create multiple six figures with Multiple years in a row. And I, I just want to share this information and I’m, I’m so, so excited about it. So if you haven’t signed up, make sure to sign up.

Cat Del Carmen: Y’all, I’m so excited for today’s episode. I am speaking with someone who I just adore and I know you guys will too. She’s [00:04:00] podcast before, although we have been Instagram friends for Quite a while now, I think, and I just appreciate this woman. So, so much. Okay. So let’s get into it today. I have the Giovanna, AKA Gigi Gonzalez on the podcast.

Cat Del Carmen: So Gigi is a TikTok influencer, financial educator, and author of bestselling book. Cultura and cash. During the great resignation in 2020, she quit her 10 year corporate career to pursue her passion, teaching financial literacy to young adults. Gigi teaches personal finance and career navigation for first gen people at various organizations, And on her Tik Tok account at the first gen mentor, she was named 40 under 40 by the Hispanic Alliance of Career Enhancement.

Cat Del Carmen: She also was sought at [00:05:00] as the Latin X to watch by the Hispanic executive magazine and top 25 creator by fast. Company. This Latina is making major moves. Always. Honestly, she like stays making major. I don’t know how she rests, but I know she does because she, I, she does share it. Like if you follow her on Instagram, which you absolutely should at the first gen mentor.

Cat Del Carmen: She is so, one thing I love about this woman is she is so open about her life and one of the reasons I wanted her on the show was because watching her content and really watching her do her thing, it gives you immediate permission. Like she is one woman that like when she is creating content, she’s a hundred.

Cat Del Carmen: Talk about show up real. Woman keeps it motherfuckin real. And I love this about her, and this is why I wanted her on the show. So we’re going to be talking about her book a little bit, but a lot of the questions I’m [00:06:00] asking her is really about like, what gives her the, the. Guts, I should say, to show up real and just be herself.

Cat Del Carmen: And she says, and you’ll see, she’ll says it comes very naturally to her, which sure it does. But I ask her very specific questions on like what has helped her continue this journey online, build a community. She’s done such a phenomenal job building a community. You’re going to love this episode. So. I can’t wait for you guys to listen, get, turn it up, get your notes ready.

Cat Del Carmen: And I will see you on the other side. Hello, Gigi, the first gen mentor. I adore you. I love you. I’m so happy you’re on the podcast. How you doing? Stop 

Gigi Gonzalez: it. I adore you. No, I’m so glad we’re finally connecting on the podcast. We’ve talked about this for so long and we finally made it happen. Thanks for having me on.

Cat Del Carmen: I have so much love for you. Same. [00:07:00] You are. The way you show up is so unapologetic. The amount of permission you give people to be themselves. I’m telling you, like, I just, I adore you. And I know your, I know your audience feels the same way. Your community feels the same way. Like all of us, like you just give so much permission by being yourself, whether it’s likable, whether it’s not.

Cat Del Carmen: And I just wanted to start with that because I’ve never really gotten to like, really tell you that. And I want you to know how much I appreciate it and how refreshing it is. And it gives me permission and I’m a real ass person and it gives me permission still. And I just, I just love that about you.

Gigi Gonzalez: Thank you. That, that means a lot, especially to little Gigi because as a little girl, I used to always get in trouble for being this way, for being opinionated, for saying what was on my mind, [00:08:00] for calling out the elephant in the room. And now online, I truly get to be that person that I am. And I’m not everybody’s cup of tea.

Gigi Gonzalez: A lot of people hate me and they block me and that’s fine, but the people that stick around, those are my people. They get me, I get them. So, uh, that really means a lot. Thank you. 

Cat Del Carmen: Yeah, of course, of course, of course. So you have an amazing book that is out right now. It’s called cultura and cash, which we will a hundred percent talk about towards the end.

Cat Del Carmen: But I, one of the reasons I wanted you on the show, it wasn’t just for like the promotion of the book, but I mean, as much as I love to do it. Promote the book for you and with you. Um, but I really wanted to pick your brain about your experience and building community online. 

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. And 

Cat Del Carmen: like what your kind of challenges were when you were doing that, right?

Cat Del Carmen: Like, so when you, you started on TikTok, right? 

Gigi Gonzalez:

Cat Del Carmen: did. Yeah. Okay. You started on TikTok. Let’s just get into the questions. I, um, actually wait, [00:09:00] no, no, no. I’m not going to get into TikTok yet. Give us like a little bit of a bio. Like, where did you grow up? Who is Gigi? Like, how did we go from Oh, Maybe not being born.

Cat Del Carmen: That’s a long, whatever you want. But like, give us a little background on like, who is she? Who is her? 

Gigi Gonzalez: Sure. Yeah. So hi, for everybody doesn’t know me. My name is Giovanna Gonzalez. For a lot of people know me as Gigi or the first gen mentor. I am originally from a border town in Southern California. Uh, it’s about two hours east of San Diego, small agricultural border town.

Gigi Gonzalez: Uh, I then branched out and went to college in UC Santa Barbara, and that really expanded my worldview. Yeah, I went to college, uh, because I was always, my parents had instilled with me to be successful, to get a college education and get a nice office job. So I follow the rules and I did just that. I majored in economics, uh, back in 2011 was when I graduated.

Gigi Gonzalez: Um, and, Yeah, [00:10:00] and, and, uh, that was my path, very much a traditional path to, uh, work my way up the corporate ladder. But what I found is there were a lot of money challenges that I had, and it was very frustrating to me because I felt that I had done everything right, had gone to school, gone the safe job, and I was still struggling with money.

Gigi Gonzalez: And it’s through inward reflection that I learned that it was because I was never taught how to manage my money. Started a journey to self teach myself. I read over 50 personal finance books. I absorbed as much money content as I could. Yeah, I was like a sponge. And then once I felt that I had mastered, um, financial literacy, I said, well, how can I share this knowledge with other women of color?

Gigi Gonzalez: Because it’s so unfair that some of us get the privilege of being past these teaching by our parents and others like me have to kind of struggle. Through it and figure it out on our own. So I looked into ways to share my new financial knowledge with others. I came across a nonprofit where I could volunteer as a financial educator.

Gigi Gonzalez: And I did that on the side where I had my job in investment [00:11:00] management. And that was very much my life for a long time, my nine to five and investment management, and then this hobby of volunteering in my community. But that all changed in March of 2021, when I decided to share this These same money tips on the internet, specifically on TikTok.

Gigi Gonzalez: And because of, uh, where we were in the world during the pandemic, everybody glued on their phone. My account went viral and I started gaining a following and with the following, I started getting paid opportunities, uh, and with the type of work that I had in investment management, I wasn’t able to do this fun TikTok side hustle hobby thing while maintaining in my full time job.

Gigi Gonzalez: So I had to make a decision. And I either had to. Quit Tik TOK altogether and do my nine to five and do what I was always told to do, or finally take a bet on myself for once in my life and take the non traditional path and quit my nine to five and explore this Tik TOK influencer career. And, and yeah, I made that decision in June of 2021 and we’re coming up on three years.

Gigi Gonzalez: [00:12:00] I haven’t looked back once. Wow. 

Cat Del Carmen: And if you will definitely follow her, if you’re listening to this, like you have to follow her and see her in her element because, um, I mean, I started off saying this, but like, one thing I always loved about you since I found you was your realness. And just like you’re a hundred percent like willingness to give the full picture and not like, not like hide the realities of building a business or, or talking to family about money or whatever the case is.

Cat Del Carmen: Let’s go back to, I, I really want to understand where your head was at when you started on really growing your following and building community online. Did you like, cause it’s easy to be like, oh yeah. And then it went viral and then like, you know, there’s a lot more to it. Yeah. I would love to know like.

Cat Del Carmen: Did you debate it? Were you unsure about showing up? Did you go back and forth? [00:13:00] Like what kind of like limiting beliefs did you have when you like started showing up like the beginning of that? 

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah, I think it would be helpful for your listeners to know what specifically made me go from teaching boots on the ground financial literacy to doing it on TikTok.

Gigi Gonzalez: Uh, because What happened was there was a specific video that I saw on my for you page on my feed on TikTok. It was this video of a white woman bragging about how easy uh, law school was for her because both her parents were lawyers and if she ever got stuck with any homework, she could easily ring them up and they’d walk her through the homework.

Gigi Gonzalez: And it was just very insensitive girl. Yes. And this is like, yeah, girl. Yeah. Yeah. She’s like, come with me on a date, like to law school where my parents help. I’m like, Oh girl, no. And it was March of 2021. So in the thick of the pandemic, there’s still a lot of students that are struggling with remote learning, trying to balance like being at home and working and being robbed of like their best years in college.[00:14:00] 

Gigi Gonzalez: And I, that video rubbed me the wrong way. And because I’m opinionated, I felt I had something to say. So I responded to that video and I said, Hey, if you saw this video and felt some type of way and you’re first gen, don’t feel that you’re unworthy or that you’re not going to be able to achieve the same things she is just because you don’t have parents that went to college.

Gigi Gonzalez: Like, of course we have to acknowledge our road is a little tougher because we don’t have those kinds of resources or support. Um, but. But you’re smart, you’re gritty, you’re resilient. You’re going to figure this out. And I just put that as like a positive message into the TikTok world. And I didn’t expect any sort of response, but the response was, uh, thank you so much for saying this.

Gigi Gonzalez: I have seen this video earlier and I really need to hear this or, Hey, I’ve really been struggling with finals and seeing that video really set me off. So now like hearing yours, like makes me feel so much better. It was just like a big thank you for showing up. Right. So that was my, my little light bulb moment of like, Oh, I’ve been on Tik TOK as a user [00:15:00] for a year.

Gigi Gonzalez: What if I actually start creating? I had never. I’m not creating and I’m like, okay, well, what would I create content around? I’m like, well, it probably has to be around stuff that I love talking about. Cause you, you’re going to continually continue to keep talking about it. Yeah. So I’m like, what am I passionate about?

Gigi Gonzalez: And I’m like, well, I’m clearly passionate about financial literacy. Cause that’s why I teach financial literacy in my community. So I can share money tips and I’m like, what else can I talk about? I don’t just want to talk about money. And I said, Ooh, like I’m really passionate about teaching Latinas, another woman of color.

Gigi Gonzalez: Okay. Um, how to navigate corporate America because it’s a jungle and nobody gives us a blueprint, so it’s really hard to navigate it as a first gen professional. Yeah. So I decided on those two content pillars. And then as, as my content has evolved, I’ve started to show a little bit more of myself and my life in Chicago.

Gigi Gonzalez: And that was actually because of my community. They were like, thanks for the money and career tips. Well, who are you? Tell us more about you. Where do you live? Yeah. Yeah. So it’s been fun to kind of infuse [00:16:00] some personal. So for example, I had a big surgery last year. I had a hysterectomy. I took my, I took my community on that journey of like, Hey, I just found this large tumor.

Gigi Gonzalez: And they’re going to have to operate me in a month. I answered questions. I brought awareness to fibroids because they’re so important for, for women to know about. Um, yeah, it was, it was a lot. So I, I think I had some mental health challenges last year. I, I don’t think I talked too much about it cause I was just harder going through it.

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. Especially when you’re going 

Cat Del Carmen: through it. 

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah, yeah. But then now I’m on medication and I scream it from the top of every hill that anybody that’ll listen to me. Cause I just want to normalize like, it’s okay to be a bad bitch and to be on medication. I would not be able to be a bad bitch if I weren’t on medication.

Gigi Gonzalez: I have so much on my plate and medication just provides us support that really helps me thrive. 

Cat Del Carmen: A hundred percent. You know, I was going to ask you about the experience of your hysterectomy because I remember that part. And I was just like, Oh my God, [00:17:00] this is what, this is what I’m talking about. Y’all like, this is exactly what I’m talking about.

Cat Del Carmen: It’s like, you’re so willing to bring people on the journey and like share your realness. Obviously it’s always on your terms, right? So you get to like, choose what you share. But I, I think it’s just, It gives people permission to be like, okay, there is value in sharing my story. It’s not just self centered.

Cat Del Carmen: It’s not just like, um, I remember having thoughts that like people are going to think I’m conceited. Like when I was first, first, first starting to show up, like people are gonna think I’m conceited or people think I’m like, no too much or whatever. And I, I have clients who are like, their struggle is just like, I don’t.

Cat Del Carmen: Like I kind of just don’t want to bother people, right? Like, I don’t want to people I know, especially to, to have thoughts about me when I show up and share whatever I want to share. And I think you’re just such an amazing, like example of that. 

Gigi Gonzalez: Well, look, let me acknowledge though, a big reason why I was able to Create on Tik Tok was [00:18:00] because of the anonymity with it, because Tik Tok, it used to be like a Russian roulette.

Gigi Gonzalez: You wouldn’t know who you would get. Now all my friends and family know I do Tik Tok, but in the beginning that was very liberating to know that I could be this new person and nobody was watching me. 

Cat Del Carmen: Uh, so 

Gigi Gonzalez: I understand how your clients could feel that they’re a little apprehensive Instagram account when they already have friends that follow them.

Gigi Gonzalez: I mean, what I tell when people ask me that question a lot too, like, how do you deal with like the cringe of like your family or the haters? The haters. Yeah. And I say either block them or start a new account. Those people shouldn’t hold you back from showing up and serving others. So I’m a big blocker. 

Cat Del Carmen: I know you are too.

Cat Del Carmen: It’s like, I get this much from you and you’re blocked. Like, I don’t need, we don’t need to play this game. I’m like, Oh, I didn’t like how you said that. Exactly. Yep. Um, I, I, so. Girl, my mom is 

Gigi Gonzalez: blocked. Like my mom is blocked. Yeah. I have no tolerance for just negative energy. Uh, especially when it comes to the creativity that I put out, I put a lot of thought and effort into how I show up.[00:19:00] 

Gigi Gonzalez: So if you’re criticizing that you’re criticizing me and I don’t need to hear your criticism. Yeah. 

Cat Del Carmen: How did you navigate? Did you ever get in your head about your niche? Because you were like, okay, I’m going to talk about two different things. And I feel like now you’ve, you, I mean, you’re definitely like.

Cat Del Carmen: You know, it’s still money and financial literacy. I feel like when I think of you, but you, there, there’s so much that you share with us too. Did you ever get in your head about that in the journey? 

Gigi Gonzalez: No, I was always clear on what I was passionate about and what I could continue to speak on. Although I will say when I first, first started, I actually had three content pillars.

Gigi Gonzalez: So again, money, career. And college navigation. And that one, I remember that I remember, yeah, yeah. That one I knew that I was. The, I wasn’t the best person cause it’d been a while since I’d been out of college. Right. But I’m like, well, I still went through stuff and that’s still worth sharing, but very quickly, my own community started telling me, girl, enough with the college stuff.

Gigi Gonzalez: A lot of [00:20:00] us are already college graduates, so we’re not, that’s not helpful to us. Uh, we’re not like in a PhD program. We’re already working professionals and we want to know how to do better in our career and how to do better with our money. So they told me themselves. Yeah. They told me themselves and I listened and I’m glad that I did.

Gigi Gonzalez: Uh, because, uh, eventually I would have ran out of content. Cause like I said, college is so long ago 

Cat Del Carmen: for me. Yeah, no, I remember because I had a really difficult time in college. So I remember like really relating to some stuff. How do you communicate with. Like, what is the way you think about communicating with your audience?

Cat Del Carmen: Cause even right now you’re like, Oh, my, my audience told me, like, they told me like, how, like, if you want to know what’s on their mind, like, how do you do that? Like, how, how’s that relationship? 

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah, definitely. Through the comment section, uh, I respond to almost every comment that I get on any videos. Yeah.

Gigi Gonzalez: And not everybody does you’d be surprised and it doesn’t. You too. Yeah. It doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, obviously [00:21:00] when a video has gone viral, it’s hard to respond to all of them, so I respond to as many as I can. And then I’m like, okay, I have to stop. But, um, yeah, I’m pretty good about, and people know that.

Gigi Gonzalez: And that’s why my community is active. Cause they know that if they comment or leave a question, I’m going to respond. 

Cat Del Carmen: Yeah. Um, 

Gigi Gonzalez: the other way that I would get their feedback. It doesn’t exist anymore, but this is how I used to. And again, I’m sure it’s a new way to connect with people, but it was through, um, TikTok lives.

Gigi Gonzalez: So in 2021 lives were very big. Um, the same way that, yeah, the same way that they exist on like to kind of paint the picture for people TikTok lives versus IG lives. IG lives are usually pretty I don’t want to say professional, but they’re more formal in the sense that there’s like a topic to discuss and you kind of stick to the topic.

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. And there’s somebody’s promoting something where when I did my Tik Tok lives, I was literally in my pajamas right before going to bed. I’d have the phone like [00:22:00] this, like, As I’m like on my pillow talking to my people and, and it would be the same people that would show up and it wouldn’t be, you know, I have almost 200, 000 followers, not all 200, 000 followers.

Gigi Gonzalez: So watch me, but maybe I’d have like 30 or 40 people that would come in. Yeah. And those were my super fans. Right. So those were the people that I got to ask. Questions about like, do you like this? What do you think about this video? Or what other type of content do you want to see? I even put out videos like that of like, Hey, um, I’m looking to, uh, think about other content ideas, what question would you like me to answer?

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. So directly asking them and they will tell you, they will tell you, just kind of have to let them know that it’s a two way street and that you’re open to receiving that feedback. 

Cat Del Carmen: Yeah. How? Okay. So I want to learn about how you decided to navigate because you left your job and went into this full time.

Cat Del Carmen: And how did you navigate, like, from, like, You leaving your job or your job, not, you know, that not working out too. Now you have, you’re like a published [00:23:00] author. You’re going on book tours. You’re on TV every other week. You’re like a superstar. Like how, I have two questions. My first question is like, what did that journey look like in terms of your decision making?

Cat Del Carmen: Cause there’s so many directions that you can go with, right? There’s so many things you can do. You didn’t have to write a book, right? You didn’t have to, like you navigated, like, especially like partnerships. I’ve seen you do so many partnerships. Yeah. So many different parts of the business. Yeah. Like, how did you navigate really figuring out like.

Cat Del Carmen: I want one. I wanna write a book. Did you know that the whole time or did it some, was it something that like you kind of just were like I knew you did. 

Gigi Gonzalez: Knew I knew. Even before the TikTok account. Yeah. Oh, what? I knew this book was needed. Oh yeah. I did not know that. , yeah, . How I don’t talk about it much ’cause it never comes up, but, but yeah.

Gigi Gonzalez: Janice picked it up too on her, on the YO podcast. She’s like, what came first? The book? Or a TikTok? I’m like, the book, I actually, so you knew this. [00:24:00] Yeah, yeah. But, and of course, when the TikTok account started popping off, I thought, Oh, maybe this could be an audience that I could sell this book that I had an idea for.

Gigi Gonzalez: But writing and publishing a book is such a journey that I recommend anybody here. Cause I know people get excited by and inspired by my story. They’re like, Oh, that’s so cool. She’s a full time content creator. And then she wrote a book. Um, and they want to do that. It doesn’t happen quickly. Um, and I say that because you first have to establish your business.

Gigi Gonzalez: So my business is as a content creator, being an influencer, being paid brand deals as a speaker, as a consultant, that’s how I make money because guess what, you don’t make money from writing a book, so 

Cat Del Carmen: you need to have your 

Gigi Gonzalez: business in a good place where you can afford to take that income loss. Uh, and, and most people aren’t there yet and they kind of just want to go straight to the book and you got to wait till the time’s right.

Cat Del Carmen: And it’s only better when you have an audience. I mean, even when I was starting my business, like I, you don’t need it even from, in my case, you don’t need a huge audience maybe for a [00:25:00] book. I, that’s why I’m, I’m not writing a book anytime soon. If I, you should. I, I thank you. I would buy it. I, I, I would like to maybe one day, but it’s gonna be so much later when I have a bigger audience and.

Cat Del Carmen: I don’t, and I have the time just like you said, right? Like I have one, a one year old, a four year old. It’s just not, right now is not the time. Like, And it’s important to understand 

Gigi Gonzalez: that. No, it’s important to understand that because otherwise you’ll become very frustrated trying to do all the things. And honestly, a book is like its own baby.

Gigi Gonzalez: So are you ready to have a third baby? No, right? Oh my God. Everybody who’s written a 

Cat Del Carmen: book. 

Gigi Gonzalez: Is like, 

Cat Del Carmen: Oh my God, this is like, 

Gigi Gonzalez: there’s so many parallels. I know it’s a 

Cat Del Carmen: lot of work. No. Okay. Let’s, let’s just talk about this real fast because. That sounds really hard. Tell us a little bit about the process. I’m curious, like, uh, how did you get started?

Cat Del Carmen: And then how did you actually break up [00:26:00] writing the book? 

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. So if I had to break down the book writing process, it would be in three phases. It would be The first phase, which is working on the first draft, and I’ll talk in detail about what that is. The second phase is working on the editing with the editors, and then the third phase is the launch.

Gigi Gonzalez: Out of those three, most people hate the launch because they’re not good at marketing, they don’t have a social media presence. I’m a marketer by trade. And I’m so passionate about the book and so proud of what I created that promoting it and talking about it is so easy to me. So I’ve actually gotten a lot of compliments from so many people of like, you have done such a great job with this book launch.

Gigi Gonzalez: You really have. 

Cat Del Carmen: I mean. Thank you. It’s a plus plus. As a person who launches, I mean, it’s, I launch programs, but I understand marketing campaigns. I understand like planning something out and like [00:27:00] executing on it. Ten out of motherfucking ten. Like. 

Gigi Gonzalez: And you know what? You know what though? This isn’t my first launch.

Gigi Gonzalez: My first launch, I think, you know, was with my investing course, investing for French and wealth builders. And you, you learn a lot from your first launch of how exhausting it is. So I’m glad I had that bad experience because, um, then when it came to the book, I’m like, Ooh, I really have to prepare well before the launch date to get all my ducks in a row.

Gigi Gonzalez: And then the other mistake that I made with my. Uh, investing course launch, which again, it’s still a product that I’m very proud of, but I need to get my systems up to be able to launch this. I know. And I I’m there, but it’s just the book is taking all my time right now. Of course, you know what happened?

Gigi Gonzalez: I launched the course and I am not, I launched a course on June 30th and then I started writing July 1st. So, girl, my 

Cat Del Carmen: God, 

Gigi Gonzalez: girl, yeah, that’s 

Cat Del Carmen: like, yeah, that’s, that’s a lot going on. 

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. I just, uh, and, and I [00:28:00] don’t regret it because it was time to write the book and again, it was a good lesson, but yeah, it’s a course doing as well as I would have liked.

Gigi Gonzalez: No, I mean, it, it, it paid for itself and then some, but that course should be selling a lot better than it is. Um, but anywho, I’m sure you can’t, by the way, it’s not over. You could just watch it. Yeah, I know. I, I would definitely plan to jazz it up. And especially now with the book, it’s a funnel into the course and yeah, no, there’s, there’s, there’s lots of goodness there, but yeah, I just need to.

Gigi Gonzalez: Gives us baby is time that it needs to really get out into the world right now. It’s like the cash time. Yeah. So that first phase, when you’re working on your manuscript, um, that’s when you write the first draft of your book. For me, that was the hardest. Most people love that part. Uh, people that are naturally good writers, they like just getting a, a way with their writing.

Gigi Gonzalez: And, you know, I don’t like that. I, I’m an, no, I’m an ambiver. Enjoy being with people, but I enjoy my time alone. [00:29:00] When you’re in that phase in the, just writing your first draft, which needs to be around 50 to 70, 000 words, you’re alone. You’re doing all that work on your, yeah. It’s very isolating, very lonely.

Gigi Gonzalez: Uh, there’s a lot of self doubt because you’re alone. So thankfully I had the support of. a book coach, which is why I’m such a big advocate of hiring support when you’ve never done something before, because you will drive yourself crazy trying to Google everything. Cause yeah, everything you want is online, but you waste so much time going down these different rabbit holes.

Gigi Gonzalez: So by working with a book coach, I had somebody who had trained other people through the book writing process. She is an author herself. So I have somebody to guide me and I still have something. Yeah. Yeah, but she helped keep me on track. She helped me stick to my writing plan. She even gave me feedback on my writing as I was writing it.

Gigi Gonzalez: Cause she used to be an editor. So she’s fantastic. Shout out to Stacey Ennis. Um, so yeah, no, she’s, she’s great. Uh, and then the second phase is that [00:30:00] editing phase, which is the hard part about that was working with editors. I didn’t agree with my first editor was this white lady and she just did not get my content.

Gigi Gonzalez: Um, She kept trying to whitewash my writing. And she said I was being combative for no reason. And, uh, you know, dissing white people like unnecessarily. And yeah, I know girl. I’m like, you, do you know who this book is for? Yeah. And it’s not, I don’t know where it was. It was when it made sense. Right. So for example, I’ll share cause it makes more sense.

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. Yeah. So there was a part in the book when I’m talking about reasons why our family, um, isn’t. Entrenched in the U. S. Financial system. And I say there’s a lot of mistrust, um, with Latinos and, um, the financial institutions here. And part of it is they haven’t been successful in providing adequate customer service in the sense of like bilingual, 

Cat Del Carmen: bilingual, uh, 

Gigi Gonzalez: customer service people, right?

Gigi Gonzalez: [00:31:00] So. I mean, money’s already such like a, uh, prejudice 

Cat Del Carmen: to like on the phone with someone with an accident. Like, yeah, 

Gigi Gonzalez: 100%. 100%. And now you’re asking somebody whose first language isn’t English to trust you with their money. Of course, they’re going to keep their money to themselves and put it under their mattress.

Gigi Gonzalez: Right. So in the book I write, um, It’s no wonder that our parents don’t trust these banks when some of these people’s extent of Spanish is un poquito. I wrote un poquito. Yeah, exactly. So you’re Latina, you laugh, you get it. Everybody that reads that part laughs and gets it because you know what I’m trying to say?

Cat Del Carmen: Yeah. 

Gigi Gonzalez: This bitch was like, um, I’m not sure why you felt to call this out. 

Cat Del Carmen: Right up attended. 

Gigi Gonzalez: Oh, yeah, girl, this is not 

Cat Del Carmen: about you, honey. 

Gigi Gonzalez: She was centering herself. Exactly. And she says, you know, if you want to stick with this poquito line, you should just spell it in the regular spelling, like poquito. She’s like, I, uh, otherwise it’s just like unnecessarily divisive.

Gigi Gonzalez: And it’s like a dig at people that don’t fully [00:32:00] speak Spanish. And I said, it’s not. Just to dig at people that don’t speak Spanish. It’s a, it’s a dig at the financial institutions that haven’t done the work to hire bilingual people to make our people feel safe when they’re in those spaces. Right. So, so yeah, she didn’t get it.

Gigi Gonzalez: And thank God because of the kind of publishing that I did, which is called hybrid publishing, I had a final say on the editorial. So, um, if I would have gotten a book deal, yeah, the editor and the publishing house, they would have, whatever they said goes. But because I didn’t do that, I retained Hybrid publishing.

Cat Del Carmen: Oh, hybrid. 

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. So if you hybrid publish or if you self publish, you have full control of your content. If you get a book deal, which most people think that that’s like the, Oh my gosh, you got a book deal. It’s great. You get an advance to write a book, but then you don’t have any control over the cover.

Gigi Gonzalez: You don’t have any control over the book title or the content. And all these things were very important to me specifically for this book, because I knew this book had to be written in my voice and my unfiltered voice to really resonate with my [00:33:00] community. And that’s paid off because the book has over a hundred five star reviews in two months, girl.

Gigi Gonzalez: Yes. It hasn’t even been two months yet to add my review. Yes, please. Yes, please. Yeah. And, and that’s why, because people can, people that know me from my socials are like, this book is you like, this is your voice, you know? So where, if I would have let some editor whitewash me watered down my message, it wouldn’t have sounded like me.

Cat Del Carmen: Yeah. Uh, how? Interesting. Oh, that’s so much work. You got 

Gigi Gonzalez: me. I hate it, girl. 

Cat Del Carmen: Thinking 

Gigi Gonzalez: about 

Cat Del Carmen: that. I would have been like, this is not for you. Like clearly you have to understand your audience and like you did, but 

Gigi Gonzalez: yeah. And I spoke to my publisher and I said, um, we need to her off the team. Um, she does not understand my reader or my mission.

Gigi Gonzalez: And she keeps centering herself in my writing, which is a disservice to my reader. And I said, I know it’s very hard to find Latino editors. Cause girl publishing is all white, white. It’s like 95 percent white. Yeah. [00:34:00] It’s so many industries. Yeah, I know. And I said, do what you have to do to find me the right people.

Gigi Gonzalez: And they listened to me cause I was hard on them. They work for me, right? Like I paid them. So they’re working for me and thank God they listen. And my next two editors were Latino and that made such a big difference. That makes such a big difference. Yeah. 

Cat Del Carmen: Are you. Are you proud of yourself? 

Gigi Gonzalez: Yes. Yes. I, well, you know what, I have to be real.

Gigi Gonzalez: I wasn’t proud until I got the reviews. Cause I didn’t know how it was going to be received. You know, I, I’m like, I gave this my all. I showed up as my full authentic self. I shared my thoughts. Some people might think are controversial or bashing our community, but I’m like, this is how I feel. And this is how I think others should navigate their money.

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. So it wasn’t until I saw the review start to come in and that they were positive. I actually had like a panic attack because for a year and a half, [00:35:00] I’m working so much on this book, uh, every day, right, all my time and energy, so much money that I’ve put into this project 

Cat Del Carmen: without 

Gigi Gonzalez: knowing, is it going to hit or is it going to miss, are people going to be like, She thought she ate.

Gigi Gonzalez: What is this? You know, so the fact that it was well, that it continues to be well received was so validating. I wish I didn’t need that external validation, but I think most authors. I want to know that they wrote something that resonates with people. So yeah, now I’m proud that I, that I defended my vision, my reader, even the, the, um, I don’t know if you’ve seen the illustrations in my book.

Gigi Gonzalez: Um, my publisher had first picked these, I remember, 

Cat Del Carmen: I remember the founding fathers, 

Gigi Gonzalez: the founding father type, George Washington illustrations. And again, I’m like, Cultura Cash, on what world does a book called Cultura Cash is going to have George Washington type illustrations? And I said, this is not acceptable.

Gigi Gonzalez: And [00:36:00] this time, they kind of refused. They’re like, well, you find your own illustrator. Instead of finding me another, because it’s their job to source somebody. But they, they just, I think they knew. They’re like, we’re not going to make her happy. Let her find her own person. Thank God that through Instagram, I was able to connect with a lot of amazing Latina digital illustrators.

Gigi Gonzalez: I found my perfect dream one and she happened to be available. Shout out to Alyssa Gonzalez. And, uh, yeah, any of the art that you see in the book is from hers and I’ve gotten so many compliments on the art. They’re like, it, this looks like me. This makes me feel so. Uh, so, and that, that’s exactly what I wanted, right?

Gigi Gonzalez: I didn’t want to alienate my reader by seeing these illustrations that didn’t resonate with them. Yeah. 

Cat Del Carmen: Yeah. That’s incredible. That’s 

Gigi Gonzalez: incredible. But it was worth it. Have you celebrated yourself? I did. I had a book launch party in January. Uh, so yeah, I did have that moment before the book launched to celebrate with close friends and family.

Gigi Gonzalez: I had a piñata with the book [00:37:00] cover. Uh, we had a taco bar, uh, drinks, cocktails. Uh, I had a little speech. So yeah. I had that opportunity regardless of the outcome, because at that point, I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be. It was just, let’s celebrate that. I even did this thing, this hard thing, writing a book.

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. So, so yeah, I took the time to celebrate, uh, in January. 

Cat Del Carmen: Amazing. Okay. So I do want to ask you a little bit, a little bit about the book and just your thoughts. And everything that you share, especially with family, just like family, like family and money and how hard that can be and how hard that could be to navigate you brought this up.

Cat Del Carmen: I was at your, um, I don’t know, book tour in LA and I don’t know who brought this up, but someone was asking about people asking for family, asking for money or like almost demanding money. And I wanted to talk to you about that. Like what has. And you, [00:38:00] you’ve talked, you talk about this in the book, so read the book too, you guys.

Cat Del Carmen: But I’m curious, like how, when, when those things first came up, how did you navigate it? Whether it’s people asking for money or expecting something of you now, I also want to like give a disclaimer, like you’ve been very forward and, and, um, just vulnerable and an honest transparent about your relationship with your family.

Cat Del Carmen: So 

Gigi Gonzalez: my mom, who I’m a student from. 

Cat Del Carmen: Yeah. How did you gain the, I don’t know if it’s confidence or what, but like, how did you get to a place where you were able to really create boundaries and like stick to them? 

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah, I can tell you it’s black and white. I’m going to be 35 this year and 10 years ago is really when I started having the challenges with my family around money.

Gigi Gonzalez: So when I was 25 and the way I handled it then is black and white from how I handle it today. And I’m so proud of myself that I found the confidence within me to prioritize myself [00:39:00] because back then they would ask me for money for emergencies or a monthly allowance to cover these expenses or loan me your credit because I need to pay for that.

Gigi Gonzalez: And, um, As a 25 year old, even though I was an adult, I still felt like a little girl in the sense that I was like, this is my family. And the only acceptable answer is yes. And I have to be a good daughter and show up when I’m being asked. And I did that for a long time at the expense of my own financial progress.

Gigi Gonzalez: And then it got to a point where I went through my own financial hardships and nobody was there to bail me out. They were all broke too. They were all broke too. So that’s when I said, okay, this isn’t going to work. If we’re all broke all the time, somebody has to get it together. And I tried to educate my family on like, let me put you on a budget.

Gigi Gonzalez: Let me teach you about this. Some were receptive, like my brothers, some weren’t, they were just used to their spending habits and they refused to change their behavior. I also would like to acknowledge some readers, some listeners might hear this and think. Oh, like I can’t relate to that. Like my parents have never asked me for money.

Gigi Gonzalez: My parents [00:40:00] are angels. They’re the last, I’d be the last person they would ask for money and they work so hard. And if they did want money, I would take my shirt off my back because I know that’s how bad it is. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about family members who aren’t living paycheck to paycheck.

Gigi Gonzalez: Necessarily. They have a little extra to be smarter with money, but they shop, they go on vacations. They can’t afford, they don’t plan for the future at all. And then when she hits a fan, they want you to solve their problems because you’re the one that went to college. You’re the oldest daughter. So, like I said, for a long time, I gave, even though I didn’t have money to give.

Gigi Gonzalez: And it led to resentment because I’m like, here I am helping you guys. But then when I need help, you guys are too broke to help me. And I’m having a struggle all on my own here in the U S. So after going through enough of that, I said, that’s it. I’m like, I’m gonna do me. Yeah, I’m gonna do me. And at first it was definitely not well received.

Gigi Gonzalez: They were like, uh, what are you doing? This [00:41:00] is your job. You owe us this, right? And, um, I just had to start telling them, Hey, I’m. Making different money moves than you are because I’m learning how money works. And if I keep repeating those same patterns that you guys have all used, I’m always going to stay in the hole.

Gigi Gonzalez: And I don’t want this life for myself. And you know what, Cat? I’m glad that you brought this up because, um, I actually just went to Mexico last week. I was there visiting family. Yeah. So again, reflecting on how 10 years ago I was such a giver, uh, self sacrificing, always said yes, never knew how to say no.

Gigi Gonzalez: And now that I found the confidence to say no and be comfortable being the black sheep and la malagradecida, la coda for not immediately saying yes to family and having some types of boundary around my money. Yeah. I feel so validated because, um, unfortunately my parent, my grandparents are going through some medical issues.

Gigi Gonzalez: They’re, they’re aging, they’re getting older, so they have more medical issues. 

Cat Del Carmen: Yeah. And 

Gigi Gonzalez: my grandpa needed a procedure that was going to cost [00:42:00] 7, 000. They have five adult children, all in their late fifties to sixties, between the five of them, they, I did the math, they would have had to put 1, 400 each to cover this for my, for their father, they couldn’t scrape that together.

Gigi Gonzalez: So I’m like, imagine being 60 years old, working your whole life. 

Cat Del Carmen: Going 

Gigi Gonzalez: to Cabo, because these people, these people, my family, they go to Cabo, they go to Puerto Vallarta. My mom just came back from Cancun. These people have those luxuries, but then when you really need it, when you really need to show up for family, you don’t have a pot to piss in 

Cat Del Carmen: and they had 

Gigi Gonzalez: to borrow the money from an extended family member.

Gigi Gonzalez: And it was a whole thing, you know, so I. Went, when I went and I saw my family, it just felt very validated to know that, okay, maybe I was the black sheep, but at least if my dad needed 7, 000 for a surgery today, I have the money for it. Yeah. I have the money for it. And, and I would not, uh, be living under a bridge for it.

Gigi Gonzalez: You know, I I’ve made. different choices that allow me to really show up for family when it [00:43:00] matters, not over stupid little things. Um, and yeah, I saw my grandma, I gave her 800 bucks. Um, I don’t think it’s my job as a grandchild to be covering these medical expenses, but my grandparents raised me. So I have a lot of, um, love if you 

Cat Del Carmen: want to.

Cat Del Carmen: And I wanted to, if you want to, yeah. 

Gigi Gonzalez: I mean, I feel I wanted to, and I have the financial ability to do it. And she was very thankful. Uh, but yeah, she’s learned to before she used to ask me for it. And now I say, I’m not going to give you the money. Cause the only person I’m bailing out is your adult kids and your, is your adult kids responsibility?

Gigi Gonzalez: Not mine. I have my own father to take care of when he ages and your adult kids aren’t going to help me pay for my father’s medical bills, you know, so I got to take care of mine, but like I said, I do it because I love my grandma. I dedicate the book to her, to her and my aunt. 

Cat Del Carmen: Yeah, you know, I’ve, I’ve related to, to this part of the book and, and just your conversations about it because I, so I’ve, we, I think from my side of the family, I don’t have, I mean, my mom’s [00:44:00] definitely asked me for money, but she definitely doesn’t have an expectation.

Cat Del Carmen: But for me, I have, I was raised by a single mom my whole life. So it was like me, my sister and my mom. So it was very much like three musketeers and my. Mom always babied my sister because she got to experience the divorce and it was a very nasty divorce and she was old enough to remember him. So all my life she has been like, my mom’s always been like, Oh, I bet all Natalia, she’s gone through a lot.

Cat Del Carmen: Like she’s always been babied. So I always identify with the experience of the first gen daughter because I was very, I was treated like my mom’s. right hands. Like I helped with everything. And although I was 

Gigi Gonzalez: defied, 

Cat Del Carmen: yeah, exactly. I was like, very, I grew up that way. I was just like my mom’s helper, anything she needed.

Cat Del Carmen: I, everything was. Like I’ll do whatever convenience for the family, but as I’ve gotten older, I have for me, it’s kind of the opposite where I just feel like I have to go in and save the day [00:45:00] with money with whatever. And I’m always struggling with that. And I’ve had, I’ve struggled with that so much. So just you sharing your story, although it’s different, it’s still the same experience as like being.

Cat Del Carmen: Way more privileged, right? Like being way more privileged and educated to have not only just have the money or come up with the money, but like be educated enough to make these decisions and not have to bail people out at the same time. Cause for a long time I did, where I was just like, okay, yeah, sure.

Cat Del Carmen: Someone needs their car fixed here. Someone needs this, but it’s like, if you don’t fucking get. Your oil changed what you’re supposed to do for two fucking years and now it’s my problem, right? Right now. It’s my problem. And I really had to example. Yeah, it’s true. It’s like it. Watching, like reading this, watching your conversations, it just gave me so much permission of like, it’s okay.

Cat Del Carmen: And safe not to be the helper and [00:46:00] not to always like save the day. And there’s lessons that they need to learn. Like you can’t be saving the day for everybody all the time. Um, it’s just not the case. So I’m just 

Gigi Gonzalez: enabling them at that point. I know, 

Cat Del Carmen: I know. And I got to that point, like in my late twenties, I was like, This ain’t right.

Cat Del Carmen: Like I cannot be bailing everyone out. And yeah, I won’t even start with my husband’s family, but that would be another episode. But, um, regardless, I just, I love your perspective on money. I appreciate. Your voice, like your voice is so powerful and it’s so important. And I, I hope that you guys that are listening, go follow, follow Gigi, read the book, get the book, follow her on Tik TOK, and just.

Cat Del Carmen: Let her, when you’re watching her, I really want you to take in how authentic she is and how, like, use [00:47:00] her as an example of permission for yourself to show up on a pal unapologetically to be willing to be unliked, right? Like to be willing to, to say something that might ruffle some feathers, like be willing to do that.

Cat Del Carmen: I just think you’re such an example of that. And in the best, best, best way, because I really do feel like the. What is life if we can not learn to be ourselves and like it? And I, I feel like you’re just an incredible example of that. So I’m just so thankful that you keep doing your work, that you keep pushing, you know, doing more and showing everyone what’s possible.

Gigi Gonzalez: Thank you. Yeah, and I do want to also say a lot of that is my Leo energy. I am a Leo, so I just think that I matter more than other people. I have always gotten asked that too, like, how do you overcome the fear of being on camera? I’m like, there’s supposed to be a fear. I didn’t know. I didn’t even [00:48:00] know. So, so it was very natural for me to do it.

Gigi Gonzalez: But, um, I would encourage your listeners to start small. You know, I also share a lot on stories. So I would just share kind of like you, you’d think that because I share money and career tips on stories, I’m sharing money. I’m not, usually my stories are just for personal stuff. What I’m going through, what I’m going to, where I’m going to travel to, what’s on my mind, what hot takes I have.

Gigi Gonzalez: And that’s a good way to connect with your people. And also when they message you. And respond back reply back. That’s how you build a loyal community, right? By sharing ideas. Yeah, a 

Cat Del Carmen: hundred percent. I remember when I was starting, I used to send for every person that followed me, I would send an audio DM, inviting them to my community, telling them about my podcast.

Cat Del Carmen: And, you know, some people would like it. Some people wouldn’t say nothing. And then some people would be like, this is the nicest things anyone ever has done. So it’s like, there’s so many ways to do it. Oh, I was like permitted to get my podcast moving. Yeah. Um, 

Gigi Gonzalez: especially if [00:49:00] it’s an audio and it’s your voice and it’s personal.

Gigi Gonzalez: Cause it’s like a little deeper 

Cat Del Carmen: connection. Right. Yeah. Um, especially when you’re building from scratch, like I was building from scratch and I was just like, I had to have done that to like, 70 people. Like it was, it was crazy. But, um, regardless, thank you so much for being here. Everyone go get cultura and cash.

Cat Del Carmen: Where is the best place for people to learn about you? Find you all the things. 

Gigi Gonzalez: Yeah. So if you go to culturandcash. com, you will find All the links where you can purchase a book, the books available on all major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, although I do encourage you to buy from bookshop.

Gigi Gonzalez: org because they support small business, small bookstores. You can also request it from your local small bookstore. And if you go to culturandcash. com, you will also have access to download the first chapter, the first full chapter. Yeah. PDF or audio format for you to check it out for us to see if it’s your jam before you decide to buy.

Gigi Gonzalez: And then if you decide not to buy, please at least request [00:50:00] it from your library so that your community has access to this very important resource. Thank you, Cat. Bye.

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