November 2007

Have you ever taken time to figure out your purpose in life? Maybe you should…if you’re trying to increase your income.

Road to higher purposeI’ve been interviewing women who make millions for a new a new book I’m writing. Like all high earners, these seven (and eight, nine, ten)-figure women clearly had a very strong profit motive. But what pushed them to even higher levels was not the money, per se, but this profound sense of a higher purpose. Making millions may have been the stated goal, but what deeply motivated these women was what they could to do with those millions to make the world a better place.

When I asked a successful financial advisor how she went from six figures to seven, her response reflected this common theme: “It happened when my mentality shifted to making a difference. You get to a point where you have more than you need, so you start thinking how you can help others.”

These women possessed a “fire in their belly” ignited by an almost a divine sense of mission, a transpersonal commitment to something larger than themselves . What struck me was how this combination of a lofty purpose with a clear profit motive created a really powerful alchemy. Here’s why:

1. Their strong sense of a higher purpose fueled their unwavering perseverance. As one told me: “Having a big vision creates the drive to something meaningful in a big way.” And another added: “I have such a deep sense of mission and purpose, that I go into full throttle, even in volunteer work.” Still another said, “When you’re on fire with a higher purpose, all you need to do is move through your self imposed blocks.”

2. Their strong sense of purpose bolstered their courage. Whenever they were scared, stymied, or facing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, they immediately went back to that purpose. “When in doubt, I revisit my mission. I know that’s why I’m here and I know I have to act.” said a multi-million dollar earner.

3. Balance and sanity are by-products of a strong sense of purpose. There’s a significant difference between drive and addiction. Addiction arises from feelings of inadequacy, pain, and fear, inevitably leading to burn out. Drive comes from a vision that nourishes one’s soul and enriches their life. As one young woman told me, “I had a massive inner critic and I’d push myself until I broke down.” Her solution: “I did lots of self improvement work and started to focus on achieving my purpose without killing myself.” The results: a significant increase in earning and decrease in stress.

To all those underearners who think there’s nobility in poverty, think again. As successful women have taught me, prosperity paves the way for generosity.


I was just interviewed on an online radio show I want all of you single women to know about. Yvonne Chase created the show—Conversations with Coach Yvonne—to empower single women in every area of life…money being one of those areas. You can listen to my interview with her, along with all her previous shows at

But the point of this blog, being single myself, is a burning question I had for Yvonne, something that’s been plaguing me for years. Who pays for the first date?

Who pays? “I always offer to pay,” she told me. “You’re not in a relationship yet. I wouldn’t expect a girlfriend to pay.”

I used to feel exactly the same. After my divorce 5 years ago, I would always lunge for the check on the first date. It was my way of marking my territory, making sure he understood that I’m a strong, independent woman. I even got offended if he insisted on paying

About a year ago, however, my attitude changed dramatically. I’m not sure why, either. Now, I like it when a man pays the bill. No, I love it. (This feels kind of embarrassing to admit.) I don’t feel this makes me any less independent. I certainly offer to pay on subsequent dates. But it feels so good to be courted.

In fact, I recently had a first date with a very cute guy. But when the check came, he made no attempt to reach for it. Nor did I. Finally, after 20 minutes, I did something that could be construed as manipulative. I went to the bathroom. Lo and behold, he had paid the bill by the time I returned

You know something? That one experience so colored my feelings, I only went out with him a few more times…all of which I paid for, of course!!

Am I being old fashioned?

Maybe I’m over reacting. I just heard yet another conference speaker warn me, along with a few hundred other women, that unless we take action, most of us will never retire because we can’t afford to.

Enough with the bad news already! The financial industry, along with the media, seem to believe that the best way to motivate women is by frightening us with scary statistics, alarming statements, and worse case scenarios. But clearly fear tactics haven’t worked. Women hear these gloomy statistics and instead of taking action, just get depressed and go into avoidance.

I would love to see the financial industry/media do away with (or at least down play) those depressing statistics. And instead, talk about how financial success allows women to help her kids, her parents, people she loves. Tell us stories about the joys of philanthropy, the thrill of leaving a legacy. Give examples of how proper financial planning will give her the resources to contribute to causes she feels passionate about.

To most women (and I suspect some men), helping others and making a difference is what financial empowerment is all about.

Does anyone else feel as strongly as I do about this?