Nobody likes to be ruled by money. But by the same token, we don’t want to be without money either. Let’s face it, having money helps. It allows for financial freedom, stability and the power to live life well. But “money” seems to be a dirty word, especially when you ask female professionals what they want from their careers. Women often shy away from discussing money, often attributing money to greed and superficiality. Why does the concept of “money” hold such a weird connotation, and what can women do to realise that making money won’t lead you on the road to a Kardashian-eque lifestyle, and that it’s the way you make it and manage it that matters the most?
Barbara Turley is an investor and Wealth Strategist, and now runs Energise Wealth, a wealth strategy and coaching business for female entrepreneurs. She believes that women need to stop being uncomfortable with the idea of wealth creation. “The way money is ‘done’ feels in conflict with women’s natural instinctual values of nurture, care, community and contribution”, she says. “The money world is about competition, striving and winning. For women the idea that you lose because I win doesn’t feel good”.
Barbara has created the Get Savvy Academy, a program that guides participants through the actions, behaviours and mindset required to get on the path to ‘true wealth’ – the point at which your money is working for you and not the other way around. The Get Savvy Academy, Turley says, also bridges the gap for women entrepreneurs who want to use money as a powerful tool at their disposal to create a beautiful life and realise their deepest personal visions.
“The money world is about competition, striving and winning. For women the idea that you lose because I win doesn’t feel good”
Below, Barbara shares her thoughts on wealth creation, the Miss Money concept and the idea that money is indeed not a dirty word, but a concept that be managed.
The Healthy Way to Look at Money
Barbara says, “Money is the last taboo in our society. It is loaded with meaning and assumptions about our level of success and worth in this world. It divides the haves and have-nots and makes us feel guilty and ashamed about it, but also thankful when we are lucky enough to be in the haves camp.
Money affects every part of our lives and can bring up painful memories of parental fights, embarrassing experiences of lack and even anger at how it seems to have so much control over us.
But the reality is that money is just an idea or a concept to make the exchange of value easier and more efficient – that’s it!
It’s how money is used and abused that makes us feel queasy. It is not money itself that makes us queasy but the actions of those who appear to have a lot of it.
“Money … is loaded with meaning and assumptions about our level of success and worth in this world. It divides the haves and have-nots and makes us feel guilty and ashamed about it, but also thankful when we are lucky enough to be in the haves camp”
If we want to see money reflect different values then we need to infuse it with the values we want to see. This is our responsibility as people, not money’s !
The “Miss Money” concept
“The ‘Inner Miss Money’ concept is a way to give a personality to this inner part of us that lives deep in our subconscious mind. It’s important to get to know this part of yourself who so often is the one pulling the strings in your life …. unbeknown to you!
We all hold beliefs that are preprogrammed into us from very early on in life. These beliefs govern how we see ourselves. They govern how we feel about money, and how much people ‘like us’ can make, should make or deserve to make.
“It is not money itself that makes us queasy but the actions of those who appear to have a lot of it.”
It’s why some people feel unlucky or feel like they can never get ahead. Their internal programming is usually affecting their ability to make the right decisions, attract the right people or opportunities and to know how to capitalize on those opportunities.
Money vs. Wealth
“We often don’t truly grasp what “wealth” really means . We confuse money and wealth, and use these words interchangeably a lot, but they are very different things. Wealth is created when the resources of time, energy and money are put to productive use to create something that benefits us in an ongoing way.
This can be in the form of financial assets, when our money works for us (and not the other way around), or it can also be in the form of good health, education, positive relationships, positive parenting, living our purpose and the like so that we are creating a better life, a better world and a sense of happiness. This kind of true wealth can pay big dividends for generations and is worth ‘investing’ in.
“Money is just an idea or a concept to make the exchange of value easier and more efficient – that’s it!”
Make your Money Matter!
We deal with money every day, and without it, I think we would all agree that life would be pretty bleak! However, most people forget that they won’t always be able to work for money, and in fact should get money working for them as quickly as possible, so that when that time comes, they have money fully supporting their lives.
Women have a few extra challenges, which means we need to think more strategically, and make sure we are not shying away from these important truths:
- On average, women live longer than men, so women will need their money to go further for longer, and they will likely face big financial decisions alone at some stage (i.e. when faced with divorce).
- Many women take time out to have children, usually during the years when their incomes are just starting to go up. The longer term implications of this are that women typically have less money at retirement time.
Taking all of this into account, you can see why there is a global debate raging right now about the ‘feminisation of poverty’.
“Wealth is created when the resources of time, energy and money are put to productive use to create something that benefits us in an ongoing way.”
The Masculine Paradigms of Business
The concepts of money, business and investing have always been very masculine paradigms. Women have only entered into these areas in any real way in the past couple of generations. Naturally then, these worlds have evolved out of a more masculine way of being and doing, where things like focus, targets, analytics and results are more dominant. There is nothing wrong with a ‘masculine’ way of doing things, as long as it’s not at the expense of things like global impact and social contribution. Otherwise the balance gets tipped.
During the Global Financial Crisis, we saw the carnage that occurs from this imbalance. In the years preceding the crisis, everything became about the next result, increasing the targets, pushing for more without considering the social implications. Get more people into mortgages regardless of whether they actually have the capacity to pay. It doesn’t matter as long as “I” reach “my” target.
Wealth creation is not about driving things so hard that you forget to lift your head up and see the cliff edge in time to avoid disaster. It is about creating value that makes the world a better and more productive place.
“Wealth creation … is about creating value that makes the world a better and more productive place”
Don’t be Uncomfortable with Money
Although the world of money might seem like a zero sum game it does not have to be that way. Because it has evolved out of the masculine, it naturally feels this, way but moneyis nothing but an idea to make the exchange of value easier and more efficient.
It is up to us how it is ‘done’ and as women we have a tremendous opportunity to change how it is ‘done’ and infuse it with different values.
Barbara Turley is running a webinar to help with your wealth management, as well as the Get Savvy Academy. The Get Savvy Academy starts on September 29th, 2014 and will run for 6 weeks. Sign up via www.getsavvyacademy.com and enjoy the FREE video training.