Money


“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?

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In my previous post, I played true confessions.  I fessed up that, years ago, I constantly put myself down…without really knowing it!

I have a hunch many of you do the same.  And believe me, self depreciation is a subtle but serious form of self sabotage.

I’d like to share what I did to stop. It wasn’t easy. I’m far from perfect. But success is so much easier since I curtailed my self-criticism and began acknowledging my value.

Here’s my 3-point plan to Stop Self Criticism—Observe; Brag; Find Spotters.

  1. I started by observing my conversations. Every time I heard me belittling myself, I stopped. Literally stopped, mid-sentence, and force myself to say something positive…even if it was just ‘thank you.’
  2. I started bragging (thanks to Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts). I mean, I actually prefaced sentences with “I brag…” and then tooted my own horn.
  3. I shared my goal with a few close friends, asking  them to spot me by pointing out my more subtle put-downs. They had no trouble catching me in the act.  Their feedback was quite effective.

Admittedly, these steps, at first, felt ridiculously uncomfortable, completely awkward. But gradually, I began to notice something.  My self-derision all but disappeared. And I felt much better about myself.

I’m here to say, I swear it’s true–what you share, you definitely strengthen. Please leave a comment below on how these steps support you in achieving greatness.

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!

Surrender is NOT for sissies.  Surrender, by definition, means relinquishing control…a frightening concept for us control freaks.  Surrender drops you swiftly into a sea of uncertainty, at the mercy of your worst fears, producing serious doubts about ever being productive again. I’m speaking from experience here.

But, despite the discomfort, I’m fast becoming a fan.  Something happened when I stopped struggling to impose my will and surrendered to receiving guidance–financial success started to feel like a spiritual journey.

Primitive cultures and Eastern Religions had rites and rituals to honor the Time- Between. They took their people out of the villages, into the wilderness, allowing them to connect with their spirit guides, reassess old ways of being, recognize their true purpose.

But no one teaches us, or even encourages, this practice any more.

So, for those of you wishing to take some time out in a rich and rewarding way, I bring you The Beginners Guide to Surrender ( so named because it’s written by a total beginner…me!).  There’s no need to leave your village, or even your job. Just follow these 6 simple (though not easy) steps.

Step #1—Eliminate everything but the most essential.

I remember saying to my guy last winter, “I wish I could take the next month off!”

“Why don’t you?” he responded.

I gasped. Taking time off was unthinkable.  Or was it?  I decided to ease into it slowly, by saying ‘no’ to things that didn’t feed my soul, no matter how lucrative…or tempting.  I said ‘no’ to speaking invitations, ‘no’ to networking opportunities, ‘no’ to new clients, ‘no’ to writing my newsletter and blog.  If anyone asked, I was on sabbatical until further notice.  I continued a little teaching and coaching, but only because I wanted to.

As a result I was left with a lot of down-time…which, of course, is the whole point.

But to many, down-time is a dirty word. And I know why:  we’ll do anything to avoid the dreaded step two.

Coming up: Step #2—Allow uncomfortable feelings to surface.

Long time…no blog!  Did you miss me?

In case you were you wondering what happened (or not), I’ve been waiting…for all your contest submissions to flow in.

Remember?  In my last blog, I asked you: How have you overcome inertia in your financial life…without waiting to be hit over the head with a sledgehammer? The winner would get a mouse pad.

To all who entered, thank you. There were some great ideas.

To all of you who are struggling with inertia and haven’t a clue what to do, help is here…take a look:

  • Honorable mention goes to Tracy, who quoted a bumper sticker: “Debt is Normal. Be Weird.” Great words to live by!!!!
  • Third runner up is Donna, for calling me “a genius for starting this contest.” …in all due modesty.
  • Second runner up is a financial coach, Michele, who advocated hiring a “financial coach like us.” Makes sense to me!
  • First runner up is Barbara W. who declared  “a deadline can be a powerful force against inertia, even if it’s self-imposed.” For example, she suggests, “agree with a friend to update your wills by the end of November, and schedule cocktails to celebrate.”  Cheers to that idea!
  • The Winner is: Laurie, who suggested a great exercise: “write down the best things that could happen if you change what you’re doing now AND the worst things that could happen if you don’t change. Then share the results with one person and receive feedback.”  This is quite an eye-opener!

Congratulations, Laurie…if you email me your address, I’ll send you a bright red mouse pad that says “Scare Yourself Every Day!!! You’ll be the envy of the office. But let them know, they too can order one on my website: www.barbarastanny.com. Come to think of it, those mouse pads would make great Xmas gifts.

Just hung up from talking to a man who’d hired me to speak to a large group of employees.

The purpose of the event, he told me, is to reach out and educate these people about their Deferred Compensation Benefit Plan.

The problem, he explained, is that members were only putting in the small minimum amount each pay period. They wanted to encourage participants to increase their contributions and understand what they’re investing in.

The real issue, he admits: “How do you break their inertia?”

Isn’t that the Big Question for all of us when it comes to money?  (And a lot of other things, I suppose!)

How do we break our inertia?

Most people do it the way I did—by waiting for a crisis. There’s nothing like a catastrophe to kick us out of our stupor. For me, it was a whopping tax bill following my divorce.

Why didn’t I take action when I first found out my husband was grossly mismanaging my money? Why did I wait and put my whole family in jeopardy?

Truth be told, inertia, like ignorance, can be bliss. But the penalty for procrastination is not pretty.

So I ask you:  How have you overcome inertia in your financial life…without waiting to be hit over the head with a sledgehammer? What advice would you give a roomful of foot-draggers?

In fact, let’s make this a contest. A prize goes to the winner with the best suggestion.

The prize: a bright red mouse pad that boldly declares: Scare Yourself Every Day.

Come to think of it, that just might be the best solution for fighting inertia!!

Barbara Stanny

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

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