“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?

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!

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.

If you’ll excuse me, but I’m frustrated and I need to vent! Yet another study has come out that tells us, according to an article in US World & News Report: “financial institutions are failing to connect with female customers, a group that will soon control 60% of the wealth in the US.” Duh! http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/ConsumerActionGuide/HowBanksShouldTalkToWomen.aspx

Allianz Life Insurance revealed what every study for the past decade has discovered: most women want to learn about retirement planning and investing. But “(Women) are telling us that materials out there are difficult to understand and that they find them boring. Some even compared them to reading a foreign language,” says Sherri DuMond, vice president of marketing solutions for Allianz.

This is news? Maybe to the industry. Certainly not to women.

The problem is that financial firms simply respond with more of the same materials, but couched in what one advisor in the article called “female-friendly metaphors.” For example: “Updating your 401(k) every six months…is like putting your winter clothes away in the summer, she says, and making stable investment choices is like purchasing your first black or blue suit.”

If the financial industry asked for my advice (and no one has), here’s what I’d tell them.

It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty! Don’t just focus on the facts of investing. Get personal. Dig deep. Talk about her fears. Explore her resistance . Delve into the real issues, like family messages and cultural conditioning. I always say doing the outer work without paying attention to the inner work only perpetuates the status quo.

Am I all alone here? Or am I being foolish to think that if financial advisors were trained appropriately, they could learn to actually talk about emotions? Let me hear from you!

woman on stairs1. Smart women think beyond being a wage earner and dollar watcher to become a wealth builder. Wealth has nothing to do with what you make. Wealth comes from what you do with what you have. You create wealth by investing in assets that will grow faster than inflation and taxes take it away.

2. Smart women don’t wait until they have a lot of money to begin. Wealth begins with as little as $25 to $50 a month. (If you simply put $2.00 aside every day, you’d have saved more than $60 at the end of each month). Through the “magic” of compounding, small sums grow into a sizable portfolio.

3. Smart women don’t wait for a crisis to get started. A crisis is the worst time to start anything. You can’t think straight. You tend to make terrible decisions, sink into paralysis, and leave yourself wide open to financial losses. Instead, make a conscious choice to become smart with money.

4. Smart women know with total conviction they must do it themselves. Dispelling the myth that “someday my prince will come” is the most important financial decision you will ever make. Prince Charming need not be a man, or even a person. Our “prince” could be an insurance settlement or the lottery, anything we fantasize will save us financially.

5 Smart women talk to others about money. You can learn so much from another’s mistakes and draw inspiration from their successes. You can use others as sounding boards, role models, and sources of encouragement, advice, and information. Why not start a financial book club or discussion group?

6. Smart women deal with their unconscious attitudes to avoid sabotaging success. If you find yourself fogging up or spacing out, if you can’t seem to apply the information you learn, or resist learning it in the first place, then chances are, psychological factors are impeding your progress. Once you identify your internal blocks, success can occur spontaneously, almost effortlessly.

7. Smart women understand risk makes her wealthy. Risk in the market refers to volatility and volatility refers to price swings. The more a stock moves up and down, the riskier it is. But those fluctuations only matter when you sell your holdings. The longer your time horizon, the less important those ups and downs are. If you’ve got say 10 years, those daily fluctuations are irrelevant.