“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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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.

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 http://www.availableandhappy.com

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?