In today’s “Financially Savvy Female” column, we chat with Ali Brown, entrepreneur coach, founder and CEO of the women’s business empowerment company We Lead, and founder and CEO of The Trust, a premier global network for women entrepreneurs generating seven- and eight-figure revenues. Here, she shares the top four money lies women tell themselves — and why these limiting beliefs are wrong.
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Lie #1: Other women don’t feel the same blocks around money topics that I do.
“There is a laundry list of reasons why women feel uncomfortable dealing with money,” Brown said. “It’s taboo to talk about for a lot of people. Many women grew up with shame around money. They had parents who didn’t like to talk about it and they learned from an early age to be hush-hush when it came to finances.”
As Brown points out, it’s still only been in recent history that women could be in full control of their finances. It took until the mid-’70s for women to be able to open a credit card in their own name or take out a mortgage loan without a male cosigner. Given this history, it’s very common for women — even super successful women — to feel discomfort around the topic of money.
“The bottom line: You’re not alone, and it’s OK to know this is something you need to work on,” Brown said.
Don’t let the feeling that your money hangups are unique to you stop you from gaining the financial literacy that will grow your confidence around the topic.
Lie #2: If I want to make more money, the best way to do it is to work extra hours.
“Work more, earn more — right? Well, that’s the old model,” Brown said. “There are only so many hours a day you can work and so many raises you can get before you are going to hit a ceiling.”
“If you’re serious about generating more income and beginning to build wealth, look at how you can leverage more income for your time,” she continued. “Start having fun exploring new opportunities, including new ways of investing or starting your own business. And even if you love your job, there are many of these types of endeavors you can get started with on the side. It might just grow into something amazing.”
Instead of working more hours at your day job, devote that time to starting a side hustle that you find personally fulfilling. Then it won’t feel like work.
“Consider what value you can bring to the world,” Brown said. “[It could be] an idea you have had a few times, thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to (blank)?’ or ‘Why hasn’t someone done (blank)? That would be a great business.'”
When in doubt, tap into your current skill set.
“For example, one of my clients saw the dire need for a more personal, high-service home care agency,” Brown said. “At the time, she was working as a nurse for the affluent elderly in the area. Yes, there were other companies providing home care, but she knew a more personal, high-touch and family-centered approach was desired by both the clients and their families. She now runs one of the top home healthcare agencies in the Northwest.”
Lie #3: I should not spend my hard-earned money on something I can do myself.
“It may feel strange at first hiring help with housecleaning, errands, childcare or asking for more help from your spouse/partner, but it will change your life — and business results — dramatically,” Brown said. “From a business perspective, your time is worth a lot, and you’ll need focused time to build a business or to move up at work. But I’ve found, as well, when I get help with the things that take up so much time at home that I don’t really enjoy — like cleaning! — it gives me uninterrupted time to spend on my most precious asset… my kids.”
Delegating responsibilities — in both your personal and business life — may not come naturally to you, but it’s important to remember that time is your most valuable asset. Unlike money, you can never get it back.
Plus, if you delegate responsibilities to a woman, there’s a bonus: “You are often also giving another woman more of an income herself,” Brown said.
Lie #4: Money will come when I have everything else running smoothly.
Many women put their financial lives on the back burner, focusing instead on the other areas of their lives. But the truth is that if you want to improve your financial situation, you need to focus on it ASAP.
“I have interviewed hundreds of high-performing women over the years — both those with businesses and those in [top] positions at companies — and not one has ever said, ‘I waited until everything was lined up perfectly that I needed, and then I went out and asked for what I wanted,'” Brown said.
Sometimes doing what needs to be done to improve your financial life will involve some risk, but these risks can pay off.
“Know it may be messy for a while,” Brown said. “I went into some debt I wish I hadn’t, but it helped me make some bold moves with my business and I was able to clean it up later. There’s no one right way to do this, so you need to feel into what is right for you. There is never one right time. You’ll know the time to go for it.”
GOBankingRates wants to empower women to take control of their finances. According to the latest stats, women hold $72 billion in private wealth — but fewer women than men consider themselves to be in “good” or “excellent” financial shape. Women are less likely to be investing and are more likely to have debt, and women are still being paid less than men overall. Our “Financially Savvy Female” column will explore the reasons behind these inequities and provide solutions to change them. We believe financial equality begins with financial literacy, so we’re providing tools and tips for women, by women to take control of their money and help them live a richer life.
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