Donna MeteDonna Meté has been dubbed the soon-to-be lesbian answer to Dr. Phil by GoNYC magazine. At her media portal, A Lesbian’s Life, Inc. she blends spirituality, therapeutic guidance and professional advice to spur on and encourage women. Her tagline is Real Women, Real Stories… Real Life! With this in mind, we asked Donna to get real with us and reveal her views on money, relationships, success and happiness.

1. You launched your media portal, A Lesbians Life, because you hope to change how lesbians are represented in world. How can the lesbian community dispel the myth that we lack money, beauty, interest and/or sophistication?
I have always believed that if you want to effect change, you have to take a risk, stand up and allow yourself to be seen and heard. Visibility will eventually evoke a dialogue and dialogue can bring about understanding and enlightenment. There has been little opportunity for us to make ourselves visible in the world. With the exception of the L Word and a few Lesbian-specific TV specials, mainstream America rarely sees the enormous diversity that exists within our community. Until we allow ourselves to be out and in the world where we belong, we will continue to be misrepresented. My intention is to change those misconceptions with my TV show and through the website.

2. What is your most significant memory about money?
Making money was always exciting to me as a kid and I inevitably found ways to do it. I was 5 or 6 when I began my money-making endeavors and one of the first things I did was sell packages of seeds to my neighbors. I sold seeds for gardens — fruits, vegetables, flowers — you name it and I had a seed. I sold just about every package and then marched to the corner candy store and bought every piece of candy I ever wanted. I spent every penny I made, but I had neglected to first reimburse the seed company for the cost of the product. My parents had to jump in and bail me out. It was my first big lesson in commerce and I never forgot it!

3. What is your worst habit around finances?
Stuffing money into my purse or pockets and having it fall out everywhere at the most inopportune times. It’s an unorganized way of carrying cash and cards.

4. On your website, you share emotions about the breakup of your long-term relationship. Typically, dividing up the finances becomes an issue in most divorces. How did money play a role in this experience and what did you learn from it?
The relationship I speak about was not long term (years together) but was significant because of the depth of feelings and experiences shared. There were no assets to divide. However, that said, I think when you commit to a partnership that does involve sharing assets, it’s important to honor and legally protect what you’ve created prior to the relationship. The decision to share, merge or co-mingle assets should be a process that includes a lot of thought, understanding and communication before – or IF – it’s agreed upon.

Communication and agreement are key factors that begin in the early stages of a relationship so any potential conflict around assets are minimized or avoided. I am very considerate of others when it comes to money and their perception of my expectations. I have learned that keeping things simple is always best for me. I enjoy being extravagant at times, but my day-to-day needs are very simple and do not interfere in maintaining balance in my relationships.

5. If you could buy one thing right now what would it be?
A ship with a full crew, jeeps and a helicopter docked on the west side of Manhattan ready to explore another part of the world and bring hope, food and essentials to those who have none.

6. Who taught you the value of a dollar?
I was born with a fistful of hope and enthusiasm for making money. It’s always been something I’ve honored and respected. It’s just in me.

7. I noticed that you’re a fan of the movie, The Secret, which is based on the 1910 classic The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. Do you believe in the philosophy of think and grow rich? How has this impacted your life?
Twenty years ago I began practicing visualization with the knowledge that what I needed already existed. I inherently knew I could manifest wonderful things if I tapped in to the greater energy of the universe to help me. I believe in a supreme power — a force that wants me and every single one of us to be extraordinary and to have everything we want. We all have that right.

I don’t believe in “think and grow rich” because it implies a superficial wish versus an innate understanding of what we are capable of achieving as spiritual beings. My practice of visualization involves a deep knowledge of my ability to manifest what is best for me. This belief propels me to continue to create things such as an amazing TV show, a website, a book and eventually, a relationship with someone extraordinary to share it all with.

8. Which is more important: how much money you make or how you spend it?
I’ve never thought that the amount of money someone makes is important; rather it’s the way in which they think about it and choose to share it. Do they hoard and maintain a mindset of ‘not enough’ or deprivation, or do they embrace abundance and use it to help others or effect change when they can?

9. How does money play into a healthy relationship?
I don’t think it’s MONEY that plays in to a healthy relationship as it is the beliefs, assumptions, expectations and communications partners have about money…and a healthy relationship! I lived with someone for 6 years who had little money but we found a way to balance the relationship even with the financial disparity between us. Healthy relationships take time, commitment, great communication and a lot of work…with or without money. If you’ve got that, everything else wonderful should follow.

10. Does money buy happiness?
Money can buy me another beautiful outfit that helps me look great for an evening, but happiness is created by what you believe to be true about yourself and your life. Money won’t make you feel good with any longevity; it will merely distract you from feeling badly for a while.

More about Donna Meté
Donna Meté is an entrepreneur who founded one of the fastest growing privately-held conference and tradeshow companies in the U.S. She launched the world’s largest tradeshow on Nutraceuticals which was later sold to New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton Publishing. She is also partnering to expand the World Obesity & Weight Loss Congress; an event focused on the latest marketing, business, medical and international opportunities in the weight loss category.

Five years after exiting the conference business, she launched A Lesbian’s Life, Inc. web portal. The site was created to initiate a dialogue around life issues, to dispelling myths that exist within and outside of the community and to do away with the limited, stereotypical representations of lesbians that are prevalent today. The website offers visitors free advice on numerous relationship issues as well as group conference calls with licensed therapists. The services are meant to help women who may not otherwise have the means to explore a personal issue with a professional.

On the MendDonna is producing a TV show and is the author of a soon-to-be published book entitled “On the Mend.” It is a strong and candid look at how some lesbians manage and leave their relationships. Its intention is to help women come to terms with and accept loss after a breakup.

She is enrolled in the Ford Institute for Integrative Coaching and JFK University in an unprecedented collaboration to provide training combined with deep personal transformation in an educational program that brings innovation to the life coaching profession.

Donna is an autodidact and non-fiction junkie. Her experience, interests and studies include quantum physics, shadow work, transpersonal psychology, metaphysics and entrepreneurship.

Read other Queercents interviews in the Ten Money Questions archive.