Business


“It’s important for people to look back before they’re able to move forward.”–Karen McCall

Karen McCall has a special place in my heart. She was the first one to tell me I was an underearner. And it really pissed me off!

“I am not,” I said defiantly. “I’m a writer!”

Talk about chutzpah!  Here was the leading pioneer in the field of financial recovery. And I’m arguing with her?

Of course, she saw right through my defenses and gently guided me to the truth.

I can honestly say Karen changed my life…in ways I couldn’t even have predicted at the time!!!

She stopped seeing clients years ago to focus on training Financial Recovery Coaches.

Now there’s BIG NEWS!

Jedi Master McCall (one of her students used this phrase, in an email to me, to describe Karen) is offering a special 3 month program…Financial Recovery Foundational Training…for anyone.

Yes, it’s a prerequisite for the Certification Core Training.

And it’s also ideal for professionals to augment their financial coaching skills.

But, for the first time…and here’s why I’m so excited…this training is open to ANYONE (you, maybe?) who wants to transform their relationship to money.

This is an amazing program. There is nothing like it anywhere that I know. It’s truly transformational! Karen, herself, will be teaching. And the sessions are on the phone.

You will be matched with a personal mentor, led through  your own money history, uncovering limiting beliefs, and given a tool box of “Financial Recovery’s underlying methodology.”

In other words, if you’re really serious about healing your relationship with money, this class was tailor-made for you!!! To learn more: www.financialrecovery.com.

This course will rock your world. Are you ready?

“What you share you strengthen.”

~A Course In Miracles

In the spirit of the above quote, ask yourself this question: Could I be undermining my success by what I’m sharing with others?

Years ago, a  coach gave me a powerful assignment.  For 2 weeks, I was to simply observe my conversations, without changing a thing. Just notice what I talked about, the words I used, my typical reactions…you know, the stuff I was sharing with others.

What I saw was not pretty.

I had a habit of putting myself down…without even realizing it. I’d constantly dismiss my skills (“Oh, that’s no big thing”), deflect praise (“I thought I was awful”), and diminish my successes (“But I could’ve done so much better”).

What felt, to me, like humility, was in truth, a form of self sabotage. Every word of self depreciation put another dent in my self esteem.   I was strengthening my sself-doubt…while destroying my self-confidence.  No wonder I was struggling.

Are you doing something similar? Minimizing your achievements or underestimating your  value?

I invite you to find out. Spend a few weeks simply watching what you talk about.  Then write a comment below on what you observed.

In  my next blog, I’ll share with you the things I did that made a huge difference.

I think it’s time we have The Talk. Don’t you? You know, the one about the Legacy you wish to leave. It’s a subject that deserves serious thought.

Leaving a Legacy is how you achieve Greatness. It goes right to the core of why you’re here and the mark you wish to make on the world you leave behind.

Some of you know exactly what it is. Mine, of course, is that there are a lot more financially empowered women running this country as a result of my work. And a lot fewer abused women who can’t afford to leave their abuser.

But many of you may be scratching your heads, wondering, ‘huh, what’s mine?’

Your legacy doesn’t need to light up the sky. It could be the tiniest footprint in the sand. All that matters: your legacy reflects your purpose fulfilled.

Need help? Try this exercise.

Imagine that it’s far in the future. You are lying on your deathbed. You’ve lead a long and meaningful life, but it’s now drawing to a close. As you lie there, you begin to review your past. What gave you the most satisfaction, outside of your family, to know this is what you’ll be remembered for? It need not be limited to one thing, either.

Once you pinpoint what it is, come back to this moment. Then ask yourself: What can I do right now that will contribute to the legacy I wish to leave?

Please share below by leaving a comment…I can’t wait to hear your insights.

I wonder if we women aren’t lacking a gene that makes this form of discipline especially difficult.  The final technique,  Strategic thinking, means keeping one eye on your higher purpose without taking the other off the bottom line.

Men seem much savvier at strategic thinking. Women, in their eagerness to give back to  their community or give birth to their dreams, often neglect this critical step.

To  think strategically, you must constantly link your Big Vision to the costs of doing business, connect your mission statement to the profit/loss statement.

One  woman explained it this way: “Connect everything with the numbers. To be a successful business woman, you have to strategize all the time on how to make the numbers work.”

And another,  a business owner  “The secret to a million dollars is continuously reevaluating the expenses to run a lean, mean business.”

And still another: “Once you know where the profit is, it’s just a matter of multiplying how many widgets you need to sell.”

Basically, strategic thinking involves:

  • figuring out the costs to do business
  • cutting losses when something wasn’t working
  • designing effective structures and systems
  • daily strategizing and yearly long term planning

Strategic thinking did not come easily to many of these women.

“This is not my nature,” said a former journalist, “I’m a writer. It was something I had to learn. No matter how passionate you are, you have to have business savvy.”

You can learn to think strategically by reading books, taking classes, talking to others, and/or consulting with professionals in or outside your industry.

I find strategic thinking is best done with others. My advice for tackling this technique– form a Strategic Task Force. Invite people (anywhere from 1 to 10) you trust, respect, and admire. Meet with them regularly to help you stay on track  strategically or  contact them when you need strategic solutions to problematic situations.

Please comment on your experience with strategic thinking.  This is definitely something I want to learn more about!

Listen up, ladies. We need to talk.  We’re still on the ‘D’ word. But now we’re getting to the nitty gritty.  This form of Discipline is what separates the women from the girls. This is where the rubber meets the road.  This is, in short, the BIG SECRET to SACRED SUCCESS™.

And I got it straight from the mouths of women who make millions.  If you wanna play  a bigger game, you gotta  toughen up! That means disconnecting from your Inner Pleaser and growing thicker skin.

By  nature, we women want everyone to be happy with us. Successful women are no different. Almost all I interviewed confessed to a “little girl inside me who wants to be liked.”

However, success requires us to make difficult, even painful, decisions that often have negative consequences for other people.

“You have to do the hard stuff,” said one mega high earner. That ‘hard stuff’ included firing employees, ending partnerships, holding tight during demanding negotiations, enforcing an unpopular policy, firing high paying clients, even enduring multiple rejections and disappointments.

In fact, virtually all the women I interviewed told me that their biggest regret was not making tough decisions sooner.

‘Toughening up’ didn’t mean these women had to harden their hearts, numb their senses, or go all macho.  It did mean a dramatic shift in their mindset.

The shift sounds like this:   ‘I’d rather be respected than liked.’

As one woman told me: “I tried to be nice rather than stand by my convictions. But I learned,  you can’t always be liked, but you can definitely be respected.”

The recognition that earning respect is more important than gaining approval was what one woman described as a “watershed moment.” It definitely was life-changing for me…and liberating.

This one shift in thinking– ‘I’d rather be respected than liked’ –means developing a “rhinoceroses hide” while keeping an open heart. This is precisely how we’ll become strong, effective leaders without compromising our feminine nature. This is what will allow us to be powerful without being punitive, forthright without being unfeeling, responsible without being ruthless.

Where do you need to toughen up?  If you’re like me, I bet it’s not just at work, but on the home front too.  Leave a comment below about what “toughening up” looks like in your life.

Want to make more money?  Well, I’ve got the secret.  And I’ll bet it’s not what you think.

It sure wasn’t what I expected when I interviewed hundreds of high earners for my books; Secrets of Six-Figure Women and Overcoming Underearning®. Very few of these highly successful women were driven by money, yet they still demanded to be well compensated because – and here’s the Big Secret – they felt they were worth it.

The good news is that it’s possible for all of us to build up our self worth. Here are some tips for pumping up your self-esteem along with your net worth:

1. Think Big, Then Think Even Bigger

What most of us do is unwittingly limit our earnings by lowering our expectations.  Especially women.  The idea is to think in terms of what you are worth, not just what you assume the market will bear.

2. Do Your Homework

One of the worst negotiating mistakes women make is picking a number out of the air that’s way too low.  The smarter ones find out their market value by researching the going rates, then ask for more than is offered so they’ll have room to maneuver and negotiate.

3.  Take the Initiative

Have tangible evidence of what you bring to the table.  Maybe you saved your company x-amount of dollars or had an idea that generated so many sales. Every time you accept more responsibility, successfully complete a challenge or create positive changes, document it.  Keeping records is an effective means of demonstrating your value to an organization.

4.  Daily Affirmations – Act As If

Affirmations are positive statements expressed as if they’ve already happened.  For example: “I have the confidence to ask for what I want” or
I deserve more money in my life“.   Write them down.  Post them in full view. Say them out loud as often as possible.  When you act as if you’re worth a lot, you’ll eventually convince yourself as well as others.

5.  Challenge yourself in other areas

A stretch in any area of life has a ripple effect in other areas as well.  If you can’t quite get yourself to volunteer for that tough assignment or ask for a raise, try signing up for an art class or running a marathon.  Anything that puts you out of your comfort zone builds confidence and self-worth.

By practicing these tips, you’ll begin to notice a shift in how you feel about yourself.  Making more money becomes not something you should do, but something you have to do – because you know in your heart you’re worth it.

Barbara Stanny

The leading authority on women & money
barbara@barbarastanny.com
www.barbarastanny.com

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Note to financial neophytes—don’t let theStart Reading The Wall Street Journal - Now! Wall Street Journal intimidate you.  It’s a fabulous learning tool…and offers some fascinating reading… for everyone, no matter how much, or how little, you know.  http://online.wsj.com/home-page

Sure it’s full of, what may appear to some, as indecipherable gobbly-gook, written in ‘broker-speak.’  But the WSJ is a very powerful resource, so ignore all of that and focus on the following:

1.      Peruse the front page.  Every once in a while there are some great human interest stories about the good, bad, and especially the greedy.  Plus, the side-bar on the left is like “Current Events for Dummies”… a collection of news snippets giving you a speedy update  to the latest news (financial and otherwise).

2.      Glance over the following two sections: Marketplace and Money& Investing.  A quick peek is all you need. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll pick up just by osmosis.

3.      Savor the fourth section (called by different names depending on the day of the week): Personal Journal (Tuesday-Friday); The Journal Report (Monday);  Weekend Journal (Saturday).  This section is loaded with easy-to-read,  often fascinating,  and always useful  tidbits….everything from fashion, sports and personal finance to restaurant, wine and  book reviews.

Let’s take Monday’s WSJ’s Journal Report (theme for this report was “Your Money Matters”).  The front page article was Best Online Tools for Personal Finance, and it was chock full of excellent (and free) website recommendations.

Even if the only thing you do is glance at the Wall Street Journal everyday for 3 months, you’ll be amazed at how much you learn!  Don’t be intimated.  The Wall Street Journal is a great resource, and a must read if you’re serious about upping your personal “financial awareness quotient”!   Try it and report back.
Barbara Stanny
The leading authority on women & money
www.barbarastanny.com

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