Ep 130: Creating Confident Teens

Episode Summary

Lydia Fenet, author of The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You, talks about the top skills young people need to become confident, successful adults who can command any room they walk into–or at least, how they can shine in their own strength. One key? Practice failing…a lot!

Show NotesParenting ScriptsInterview TranscriptGuest Bio

Full Show Notes

Teenagers are inclined to worry about everything—the phones they have, the clothes they wear, the clique they belong to. They think everything they do will give others a reason to judge them. And unfortunately these insecurities prevent teens from achieving their goals. They’re so afraid of judgement and failure that they’d rather not try at all.

As a parent who was once a teen, you can’t help but empathize with them. There may have been a myriad of opportunities you’ve missed out on in your teens because you were too afraid to try them. But the lifetime of experiences you’ve had since your youth has taught you that the things you were afraid of then were miniscule in comparison to the much scarier things you’d eventually accomplish in life. It’s hard to watch your child hold themselves back from things you know they are capable of. 

In this episode, Lydia Fenet, author of the book The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You: Command an Audience and Sell Your Way to Success, offers parents advice on raising confident, successful teenagers who know how to command a room. The lead Benefit Auctioneer at Christie’s Auction House in New York City, Lydia knows exactly how it feels to be on top and how to fail! From her own personal success and challenges, Lydia has discovered the top lessons we can teach teens to set them up for success: value of a dollar, the perks of being a good loser, and the secret to successful negotiation.

Failing with Grace

Say your teen wants to audition for the school musical—as a freshman. Sure they’ve been taking singing lessons for a year, and they played elf number 3 in their Christmas play, but you’re pretty sure they aren’t going to get in. So should you just be honest with them and say “honey, I just don’t want you to get your hopes up.” Lydia says no! Discouraging your kids from trying new things, even if they end up failing, is the best way to stunt their curiosity for life. 

Lydia shares how she auditioned for her boarding school choir two years but never got in. She was also on a basketball team that lost every single game for four years straight. What did she take away from all this? That losing isn’t half bad. In fact, it’s a part of life that teens should get used to. Lydia believes in encouraging kids to try new things without the pressure to excel. If they end up failing, so what? They’ll see that failing isn’t half bad. In fact, failing is just a step on their way to finding what they love. Failing is a character-building exercise for teens to become more humble and well rounded. 

Shameless Plugs

Lydia believes that no one can tell you what you’re good at better than you can. That being said, she recognizes that the confidence to sell yourself to people isn’t instinctive in your teen years. Lydia discusses how in our society, we are taught to shy away from boasting about our skills and accomplishments. That anyone who goes against this is deemed arrogant or ostentatious. This particularly applies to women in the workplace, who are often taught to be meek when making salary requests. 

Lydia calls for an abolishment of these self-effacing tendencies. When your teen is in an afterschool club and the advisor asks “Is there anyone who specializes in [insert skill that they happen to kick ass in]?”, they should be the first to raise their hand. Why? Because the early bird gets the worm. Being too humble can get in the way of countless opportunities. The pick of the litter doesn’t go to the person who’s most capable. It goes to the person who’s most willing to put themselves out there. Lydia urges parents to teach their teens to freely share what makes them special. To tell people “Yes, I am the 1st string wide receiver on the varsity football team. Yes, I am taking 4 AP classes. Yes, I am fluent in two languages.” 

It’s not bragging, it’s sharing what they’re most proud of. And doing so can bring them opportunities they’d never imagine. Your teen has worked too hard at building their college resume to not take advantage of opportunities to flex their skills. It doesn’t make them a show off or attention hog. It makes them a valuable asset to whatever club, team, or person they’re offering their skills to. 

You Are What You Negotiate

Lydia encourages parents to teach teens about finances and money at an early age. Lydia does this with her own teens by pointing out costs at the grocery store and encouraging them to save up for items they really want. The point is to show her kids that everything in this world costs money. If teens never have to work for what they want because their parents will just buy it for them, they’ll never fully comprehend the value of a dollar. 

Lydia resents people’s tendency to undervalue themselves when asking for a raise. She particularly resents that the gender wage gap exists partially because women are taught to be apologetic when asking for raises. This apologetic mindset is programmed at an early age and can be prevented when parents intervene. Lydia insists that parents of teenage girls teach them to be confident when asking for things. When you teach your daughters to be thoroughly prepared and unemotional going into a negotiation, you’ve raised their chances of getting the wage they deserve.

To drive this point home, Lydia shares a story of when she started an auction bid at $100,000. Nobody in the room responded to the starting bid and she was absolutely mortified. But instead letting her insecurities affect her, Lydia improvised by saying “A girls gotta ask.” She was able to get a chuckle out of the audience and resume the auction unphased. The takeaway from this tale is that embarrassment and failure are never as bad as you think it’ll be. If you prepare your teens for the awkward and unsuccessful moments that’ll inevitably happen in life, they’ll be more willing to put themselves out there. Gracefully dealing with these misfortunes will bring them more confidence and urge them to dive into new pursuits fearlessly. 

In the Episode…

I had a wonderful time speaking with the extraordinarily charismatic Lydia Fenet for this week’s episode. Her experience rising in the ranks to become the busiest auctioneer in America is inspiring for adults and teens alike. I truly appreciated her willingness to share insightful tips on raising teens that are confident, capable, and independent. 

In this week’s episode we also discuss…

  • Public Speaking and Building an Onstage Persona
  • How to Slide into the DMs of Important People
  • How to Have a Memorable and Successful Job Interview
  • Fighting Stage Fright
  • Tips for Effective Networking 

Thank you Lydia for taking time away from your busy schedule to offer insightful advice for parents. Please enjoy as you learn how to raise your teens confidence and teach them to command a room.  

Parenting Scripts

Word-for-word examples of what to say to your teen

1. Let your teen know it’s okay to be proud: 

“No one can tell anyone what you’re good at better than you can tell them yourself. Don’t feel scared to put yourself forward, don’t be scared to tell other people what you are good at.”

-Lydia Fenet

2. Challenge your teen to think differently on their college application essays:

(Members Only)

3. Let your teen know if they want an event or a meeting to be fun, they can make it that way:

(Members Only)

4. When your teen talk ad nauseum about a problem:

(Members Only)

5. Use past achievements to inspire your teen to navigate new challenges:

(Members Only)

6. Remind your teen most people are just like them:

(Members Only)

7. Encourage your teen to do their best, no matter who is around: (1 of 2)

(Members Only)

8. Encourage your teen to do their best, no matter who is around: (2 of 2)

(Members Only)

Complete Interview Transcript

Andy: Talk to me about what the inspiration was for this book. Was this something that you had for a long time wanted to write, or is it something that just came to you? And what was your journey in creating it?

Lydia: So I am a charity auctioneer for Christie’s Auction House in New York. And I’ve been a charity auctioneer since I was in my early twenties. And being a charity auctioneer is a little bit different than what you might see in a movie for an auctioneer. Because people always think of an older British gentleman in black tie, slamming down a gavel and selling a Picasso for millions of dollars. But charity auctioneering is really done to raise money for nonprofits. So I quickly go on stage late at night, and I’m usually selling something that no one really wants. Right. They’d give me a puppy to sell at the school auction or they’ve given me someone’s grandmother’s quilt. And they just think that I’ll sell it. And so that ends up being my nights, most nights of the week, if we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic.

Lydia: And one funny thing that I noticed was before I would get on stage, or after I would get off stage at the end of the night, there was always a young woman who would come up to me and say, “I could never do that. I’m so bad at selling. I’m so bad at selling myself. I just get so embarrassed. And what if they say no?” And it was always some semblance of 15 different thoughts thrown at me, but it always sounded kind of like that. And I grew up in the South. I grew up in Louisiana and my mother is British. So I like to say that I don’t really come from a culture where women are told to ask for things all the time. And I really wanted to understand how I got this confidence, and I wanted to understand how I can show other people what I had learned, because I think it’s learned. I don’t think it’s necessarily innate.

Lydia: And that’s really where this book came from. The stories starts early in my life. I talk about something as simple as… Something we can all relate to, the first time I felt that smack in the face of failure. I tried out for an acapella singing group. I had sung in the school choir my whole life. And it sounds like such a simple thing, but I didn’t get it. And I was crushed, and I was at boarding school in Connecticut. I wasn’t near my parents at the time, and I was hysterically crying and I thought my world was going to end. And the next year I went back to try out again and I had laryngitis. And I didn’t get it again because I had laryngitis. And it was so crushing. And again, with perspective and age you look back on something that seems so simple.

Lydia: So we all remember what that first failure felt like as a teen. And so I started each of my stories with something when I was younger. And then showcase what they look like on a grand scale, standing on stage in front of a thousand people when something goes terribly awry, and how you recover from that. And so that’s really what this book is about. It’s about finding your voice and finding confidence.

Andy: Very cool. And you have broken it up into a series of lessons. And I’m curious where you decided on what were the lessons that you wanted to teach in this book.

Lydia: They were really themes in my life that I had seen time and time again. And actually a lot of them came from my dad. So I know if there are parents who are listening to this, you’ll be happy to know that actually, kids do listen to their parents. Certainly my dad used to always say things like, “But yet you are what you negotiate.” Which means nothing when you’re 10. But when you get into the workforce and you realize you’re getting paid a half of what other people are getting paid, you start to understand that you do actually have to negotiate for yourself. And there were little things like that, that over the course of my life, I remembered and wanted to share with people.

Lydia: So those really became how those chapters were formed. Talking about, you are what you negotiate. Really, talking about pay, and how important it is to understand money at an early age. Because again, that’s something that I think a lot of people just never really think to teach their children. They assume that they’ll either figure it out or maybe they get it by osmosis. But those are things that, you learn them when you’re young, they’re building blocks for the rest of your life and they set you up for success. So each of those chapters was meant to give people ideas for things that they could do to control their life and command their voice.

Andy: One thing that you said was a breakthrough for you, was getting rid of this persona that you thought you had to embody when you were on stage, and really learning how to sell as yourself. So I wonder, how did that come about? How did that lesson come to you, and how do you think we can teach that to other people?

Lydia: I think selling yourself and just being yourself is one of those things that you find with confidence. And as I said at the beginning of this, when I thought about auctioneering, which frankly I didn’t think about until college. Because I never heard of auctioneering until I was in college. Most people probably have never heard of auctioneering, but when it came into my thought process or the world that I was living in, I realized that every time I saw someone who was an auctioneer, they were always older and they were always a gentleman. They were always in black tie and they were 99% of the time British.

Lydia: When I tried out to be an auctioneer I was 24, I am American, although my mom is British. But I have an American accent and I was never dressed in black tie because I don’t wear tuxedos. And obviously on top of all of that, I was a young woman. And so my natural inclination was to immediately try to be what I had seen in front of me, always. And so I would always dress in a black suit, which was as close to a tuxedo as could find. And I would emulate a weird hybrid British accent that never quite sounded right. And I felt so uncomfortable in my skin and what I realized many years into taking auctions. And I talk in the book about this one formative moment where I was really, really sick and got on stage and through a series of events just found my voice.

Lydia: And I think that we have to be… And I think we’re much better as a society right now of realizing that there are different ways to do everything, right? Just because we’ve seen one person do it one way doesn’t mean that it always has to be done that way. And I do think as a parent myself with my children, if I see something where it’s only been done in a certain way, I always say to my kids, just because you see it like that, doesn’t mean that, that’s the only way it can be done. In fact, you could come up with a different way and do it just as successfully. Different doesn’t mean bad, different means different.

Andy: And so is that… Just takes time to find you think. And just encouraging kids to experiment is the main thing? Or what can parents do to help them along on that journey?

Lydia: Yeah. Never thinking of a certain path for each of your children is a really good way to empower them to live the life they want to live. I have a lot of friends whose parents took a very different parenting approach than my parents. My parents were like, “If you want to try this, we will get behind you. You want to be a scuba diving instructor. Let’s see how that goes. Okay. You don’t like that. All right, next thing.” So, they always let us try it and if we hated it, then we never did it again. And if we liked it, there was encouragement to do it. But there was never a roadblock thrown in front of us where we couldn’t at least try to fail.

Lydia: I talked about that acapella singing group, but I didn’t say… In the story I tell in The Most Powerful Woman In The Room Is You is, I was 13, in a new boarding school. I didn’t really know anyone. And I had always been a joiner. My parents were like, “Do everything you can. You can play basketball, do ballet, do volleyball.” It was like, “Do anything you want.” I was never good at any of those things, but I did them all. And I went to this highly competitive boarding school. And I arrived and everybody was so good at everything and I was so mediocre and everything. But I tried out for 11 things my freshman year.

Andy: Wow.

Lydia: I remember one of my teachers saying to me, “We’ve just never seen anyone who can just fail with such grace.” And I always laugh at that, because I played on a basketball team in middle school that never won a game in four years. And we lost 50 to 2. It wasn’t even close. We only had five players. So the odds were not good. And we were playing massive schools, and we had 12 kids in my class. And they’re right. I can fall along with the best of them and it bounces right off of me. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that, that’s actually the greatest gift you can give a kid.

Lydia: Let them fail. And my parents every time would say, “You know Lydia? That was a tough loss, but we think next time you’re going to do it.” And I was like, “I think so too. Mom, you’re so right. Next time is the game.” 48 to 2. “Next time is the game.” “Yeah, I think so too.” What a great quality to have in life that just doesn’t stop you. Because that fear of being imperfect is what stops so many kids from trying to do so many things that they’re going to want to do over the course of their life. And so I think as a parent, take that advice from Bob and Sally. Just let them fail and let them fail regularly, because over time they get used to it. And they’re not scared to try.

Andy: You talked about negotiating and there’s a great chapter in the book about this. You have three tips in here about negotiating. And a couple of them I thought are really, really important. One was, lose the emotion and one is, don’t apologize. Why are these so important for negotiating and how can we apply them?

Lydia: Well, I think this really speaks to women more than anything, because I’ve been a boss of so many women over the course of the vote. And the first thing they do is apologize for what they’re about to ask for. And it’s interesting. I find myself doing it. Oh, I’m sorry that I’m asking for this. Instead of just, here’s the ask. And I have two brothers who never do that. And so it was one of the things I learned very early on in my career to really stop that. And so I would say it for parents to just be aware, especially with your daughters. Some sons will do it too, but I do think with your daughters, it’s something you want to watch out for. And correct them on early on so that they understand that. I’m sorry, is not a place to go asking for something, you’re not apologizing. You’re asking a question and you have every right to ask it.

Lydia: And that goes to lose the emotion too. I think so many times we take the answer, no, personally. And tears erupt and there’s so many emotions that go with the word no. But as we learn to strip away that emotion, and make it a little bit more about what the issue is and less about the emotion surrounding it, you can get to a really good place. Where you can ask for things and feel confident and not fall apart when the answer is no.

Andy: So how do we do that? It’s hard when you’re feeling all emotional about something, it’s something that’s really important to you even thinking about it for so long, you’re going in, your heart’s racing, what do we do in that situation? Or what are we teaching the kids to do?

Lydia: I’m a big fan of pre-talk. Talk about it before. Because everything you’ve just said, what did you say? Your whole body. I’m seeing you in person now, so I can say this. Your whole body ready to make that ask. And you’re getting so emotional and so freaked out about it. Talk about it before you go in. I always say this about a negotiation. If you’re walking into a negotiation or you’re about to have a difficult conversation, have had that conversation three or four times, get that adrenaline out.

Lydia: Because the adrenaline is what causes that surge of emotion. Every single time. It’s the same thing with public speaking, really. You stand up, you feel all that adrenaline come up. And then you’re shaky and you can’t ask the question and the tears come, right? But if you’ve done it 15 times and it’s almost like wrote memory, the emotion starts to get stripped away. And then you’re just saying the words that you’re ready to say, and you’re having the conversation in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming.

Andy: So you mean talking through it with other people, with friends, with family members, anybody who will listen to you?

Lydia: Exactly. I do it all the time. Whenever there’s something that I’m really thinking through, whether it be I’m having an issue with my friend or I’m having an issue with my kids. Or even in my own family, something that I need to talk through, I talk about it. I talk about it endlessly. I almost talk it to death in a way, so that it feels like when I say it, there’s no emotion behind it.

Lydia: And I do. That’s a really easy way for someone to understand that, “Hey, there are also different perspectives.” So you may say something to me. And as a friend, it makes me laugh and you have never thought of it as funny.

Lydia: And all of us are like, “Why is that making that person laugh?” Because that’s how I’m responding to you, but it could make someone else think, “Oh, you shouldn’t say it like that.” So it’s good to get perspectives on things.

Andy: There’s a great story in here where you are doing this paddle raise, where you tell people amounts of money, and people raise their paddle if they want to just donate that much money. And you decide to start off at a $100,000, think you’re raising money for veterans here. And nobody raises their paddle. It’s this excruciating, awkward 30 seconds of hoping someone will donate $100,000. And nobody does.

Lydia: And you’re forgetting the worst part of it, there’s 6,000 people in that arena. And I opened up the bidding asking if anybody will bid at $100,000. And they told me they had a bidder, and I kept waiting for him to wake up from the nap he was taking or come back from the back. No, he was not there. Never raised his hand. Never said a word. And I was just on stage squirming. But in what I said in the book, “You never know, you have to ask. And more importantly, I’m still alive to tell you about it.” I like to say that confidence comes from moments like that.

Lydia: I’d take more auctions than almost any other auctioneer in the US at this point. And for me to be on stage when something like that happens at the height of my career and realize that no one is going to raise their hand in front of 6,000 people to give me the number I’m asking for.

Lydia: That does not feel great if I’m being honest. But again, made it through. And when I got off stage and everyone said, “Oh, gosh. That was so painful, the hundred thousand.” I said, “Was it?” You don’t have to tell me guys, I know it was painful.

Andy: Ohhhh, yes.

Lydia: But there you go back to that losing basketball team. Takes nothing to do it.

Andy: Yeah. Right. But I love this line that you said, when you’re absolutely positive, no one is going to raise their paddle, says “Then I gave everyone a huge smile, and said with a wink, well, you know, a girl’s got to ask.”

Andy: And I just love that because you do. If you don’t ask, then you’re never going to get it, whatever it is. And I just think that’s such a lesson in life. And yes, asking does mean sometimes you’re going to get left standing there in front of thousands of people, and nobody giving you what you want. But also it means sometimes they’re going to say yes, you never know. Somehow you overheard…Oh. No, you found out that other people were talking about you. And what they had said behind your back was that Lydia is really good at selling herself. And at first it was hurtful, but then eventually you realized that, that’s a great thing. Yeah. I thought that was just so cool, because there is such a negative connotation behind self promotion and people who are always selling themselves. But then at the same time, no one else is going to do it for you. If you’re not selling yourself, then who will.

Lydia: Exactly. I tell that story and talk about something we’ve all felt. And I think about feeling those feelings for the first time at an early age, middle school, high school. If you really think about the time when you learn what it’s like to hear something about yourself that’s negative. Again, it goes back to this core feelings that you never get rid of. It doesn’t matter how old you are. And I talk about in that book, overhearing somebody… Not even overhearing. Someone said it on purpose at a meeting in front of an entire table of people.

Lydia: And I was so mortified, I crawled back to my desk. And I was having that memory as I was writing the book. And I remember thinking to myself, which I said in the book, how I wish I could go back five years and shake myself and say, “That is the greatest thing that anyone has ever said to you. You should have said, “Thank you.” Instead of crawling into a ball and running away.

Lydia: Because the bottom line is, no one can tell anyone what you’re good at better than you can tell them yourself. So don’t feel scared to put yourself forward. Don’t be scared to tell other people what you are good at. And I feel since the book came out, I do it all the time. And again, I’m still alive. I’m still standing here to tell you. And I think people fear… I don’t know what they fear the worst that’s going to happen to them is, but it doesn’t happen. You say it, and so people are threatened by you and they feel like you’re self promoting, too bad. Keep moving. You got a life to live.

Andy: So what can we do to develop more of that or get better at promoting ourselves?

Lydia: Talk to people about what you’re good at. Don’t shy away from conversations in your life. When someone is asking someone, “Does anyone know someone who’s really good at basketball?” I keep going back to basketball, even though I’m terrible at it. I would never raise my hand because that would not be true. But let’s say that you are. Let’s say that you’re good at public speaking or debate. If you’re good at you’re good at a sport or someone that you love is, put them forward, put yourself forward. Don’t feel like you cannot promote yourself, or even those around you. I feel like I get as much joy from promoting my friends who don’t want to promote themselves, that I do from telling people what I’m good at, because the bottom line is we all grow in this together.

Lydia: And I think, especially when you’re forming such early moments in your life, you want them to be positive. And that comes from feeling confident in saying things that make you feel like you can do anything. So if you know that you’re good at debate or public speaking or whatever it is, and they ask for someone who’s good at public speaking, and someone else raises their hand because they’re more confident than you, then you’ve just missed out on an opportunity, right?

Lydia: You want to think about that every single time, if you can, in your life, about how you can move those opportunities forward. And I think we think about it with our kids too. We want to encourage them to try and take those opportunities, and raise their hand and put themselves forward.

Andy: And there’s an element of knowing what you’re good at. And you need to have a realistic assessment of what are your skills. And when something is happening that you have the skill for, then you can just stand up for yourself and say, “Hey, that’s me.”

Lydia: That’s me. Again, what’s the worst that can happen. They can say, “Well, we already had someone.” Okay. Well, keep moving.

Andy: You write, that one element that’s very important in sales is vision, and knowing exactly what you want. Or having a really strong vision for the future. Why is that so important? And how can we help our kids get more vision?

Lydia: Well, I think vision, as you get older is a little bit of a different story. What I talk about in the book is, really the vision for your career. But I do think for especially teenage kids, letting them know that there is a big world out there and really helping them understand what that looks like. Telling them about different opportunities. If you say to your child, “Here is what you should be doing. This is what you should be thinking about. This is the only industry that you should be in any way, shape or form engaging in.”

Lydia: You’re limiting them and you’re limiting their universe. And so for me vision is about allowing someone to understand there are a number of opportunities, and then to follow what works in their brain on the way that it works. Same way I manage my team.

Lydia: I don’t try to make someone who’s terrible at one thing, do something 24 hours a day. I might have them practice it. But the most part, if I see a natural tendency for someone to do something, I want to encourage them, right. And really help them. It’s the same with my kids. They all have different attributes. And I want them to understand what that allows them to do in the larger context of their life. So, one thing I always stress, and I stress this at the beginning, is understanding finance. Understanding money at a very early age, we have this conversation with our kids daily.

Lydia: You lose something, that costs money. Your parents go to work to make that money. So when you lose something, you need to think about the implications of that action. So this is not the world that you live in, where things are just handed out to you for free. You have to understand that every single thing has a cost. And now that you understand that you will think about them differently. Giving them an allowance, giving them an understanding of what it takes to take money in, and then what it takes to take it out.

Lydia: My husband and I have the greatest story about a lemonade stand, with our eight year old that he held last year, where he took out money for the lemonade mix after she came back with the money. And she was so upset, she was like, “How could you take the money?” He’s like, “Where do you think the lemonade mix came from? You have to factor operating costs. And her grandparents were absolutely appalled, but I thought it was such a great lesson. How else do you get the lemonade stand? You need to have operating costs. This is what it does.

Andy: Yeah. Right. Maybe we need to charge you rent for selling it in our front yard. Right?

Lydia: Front yard is prime yard, you should be charging them rent. You’re right.

Lydia: We didn’t get that far into it. $2 for the lemonade mix and rental. And that’s the story about us, we have about 50 cups of free lemonade on tap. But we do what we can. But I do think, again, my parents, and we’ve talked openly about this, that we never talked about money. And I had no idea what a credit card was, and knew what the minimum was. And all of those things were taught to me by my best friend, when I literally used a credit card, and just didn’t pay off the minimum payment, in my early twenties, for 11 months. Because I was just waiting for my New Year bonus from work to come in.

Lydia: And it was one of those, just defining conversations because her parents had been so focused on finance her whole life. Her father worked in finance. It was just something they talked about all the time. And we just did not. As I said, my dad is Southern. My mother is British. Money is not something we discussed. And we talk now about how important it is when we think about our kids to make sure that they understand what it looks like to save. Understand money in and money out, it’s that basic. Putting together a small budget with your chore money. What do you want to save? What do you want to do with that money? If you have a little bit of extra spending money? It doesn’t to be a grand plan, but just giving them the basics.

Andy: So then you make them pay for certain things, or how do you teach them the importance of money or the value of the dollar?

Lydia: I show them. When we go to the grocery store or something like that, my daughter will always ask if she can get a pack of gum. And I’m like, “Sure, honey. Yeah.” But it’s perfect. It’s $1.25, and we know exactly where we’re going. And if she wants to bring it and buy it with her money then she can. And I think that that’s an important lesson, to understand that if she takes it out, it’s gone. She can’t get it all the time, but she has it. And she decides to spend her money on that. Then that’s okay.

Lydia: And I think that actually giving her the ability to do that makes her feel very empowered. She said a couple of times, “Well, if I want to buy it with my money, then you can’t say what I can buy, what I can’t.” Yes. I can, I’m your mom. But yes, the answer is, you can buy whatever you would like if I say you can. I try not to really stress the last part because we haven’t hit anything illegal yet.

Andy: Yeah. She hasn’t wanted anything crazy. It’ll come.

Lydia: Yeah. Gosh, I hope not…

About Lydia Fenet

Lydia Fenet is the author of The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You. She is Global Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships and Lead Benefit Auctioneer at Christie’s Auction House. She has led auctions for more than six hundred organizations and raised over half a billion dollars for nonprofits globally. 

She was named one of New York’s most influential women by Gotham magazine and has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Crain’s, and has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and Town & Country. Lydia is a keynote speaker represented by CAA and travels internationally speaking to groups about unlocking their sales potential and empowering their teams in the workplace.

Want More Lydia?

Find her on her website, Instagram, and Twitter.