Greatness or Mediocrity? A Matter of Mindset.

Mediocrity sees difficulty in every opportunity. Greatness sees opportunity in every difficulty. (paraphrasing Winston Churchill)

Since September, I’ve kept in touch with the graduates of my last Sacred Success® Retreat.  Part of the curriculum is a year-long follow up.

You know what their primary challenge has been? (Mine too.) Not getting sucked into the Mainstream Mentality,   the way “Everybody” thinks, responds, and sees the world.

Sacred Success requires a radically different mindset…because it has a radically different goal.  Mainstream is heading for Mediocrity. Sacred Success is going for Greatness.

One of the biggest differences is how each camp views difficulties.

To the masses, problems are at best annoying distractions, if not dreadful disasters, setbacks to surmount as quickly as possible.

In Sacred Success, however, all problems are considered pathways to Greatness, pointing the way to pursuing your purpose.

Instead of struggling to overcome the obstacles, Sacred Success surrenders to every situation, looking for the lessons embedded in the circumstances.

Maintaining that perspective, however, isn’t easy. The mass mentality has an insidiously intense pull that’s always at play. You need a lot of support not to succumb.

If you’re ready to play bigger than ever before… If you’re ready to be supported by a community of like-minded women…If you’re ready to experience what Maria DeCarvalho did

I left the retreat with a much clearer vision of what is possible for me.  My time with Barbara has helped me recognize doors where I thought there were only walls.”

then, my friend, you are ready for Sacred Success.

If you’re ready to find doors where there now seem only walls, join me for one of my Sacred Success Retreats. I hold one on the east coast and one on the west coast every year.   Learn more here!

The Flu, the Farm, and a Metafiscal Lesson

“Wanna make God laugh? Tell Her your plans”–anonymous


I haven’t blogged for 2 weeks. Hell, I haven’t done anything for 2 weeks. Except see the doctor. Who told me I had the flu…and to stay in bed.

What?? Stay in bed???  I had important things to do!!!  I had a teleclass coming up. A retreat to market.  A speech to write. An interview scheduled. Clients to coach.  I had no time for the damn flu!!!

Yet here I am, still in bed, bemoaning my fate, but too weak to do anything.

Then my mind traveled back to my last visit with my daughter, the farmer, just last month.

The week I was there, the seedlings that Anna and others had started were sprouting. It was time to plant them in the fields.  The baby chicks were now mature hens. It was time to move them to bigger quarters.

But nature had other plans. It poured. And rain was forecast for the next few days.

You can’t plant when it rains, Anna explained, because the wet fields are too fragile.  And the ground was too wet to drive the truck to the other henhouse.

Here they were, all geared up to do both. I watched in awe at what happened next. No one got uptight. No one cursed nature.  No teeth were mashing or hands wringing.

Instead, the farm owner shrugged his shoulders, and said: “Enjoy the down time.”  (What a concept!)

We found other things to do. (I say ‘we’ because, by then, I’d been recruited into the workforce.) We cleaned the eggs. We did outreach.  One woman made a delicious apple crisp. Another couple worked on a brochure. We had a scrumptious stir-fry, loaded with freshly picked veggies.

What really struck me: everyone seemed grounded in a deep sense of faith–a  respect for nature’s  timing,  a deference to forces out of their control, a trust in a higher order–that  was so strong, they were able to dispense with their plans, embrace the delays, go with the flow and enjoy the whole process….with nary a complaint.

As I remembered this scene, I immediately saw the lesson.

Instead of fighting the current, why don’t I just kick back and relish the ride…even if it feels like I’m going nowhere?

I’ve written so much about surrender in this blog (Sweet Surrender) I guess I thought it was a onetime event. But I’m beginning to see…. the Universe has its own sense of timing. Instead of trying to out-control the cosmos, I’m going to lie back, let life unfold, delight in the downtime and do what comes next. In this case, I think I’ll write a blog!

Confessions from a Metafiscal Teacher

I have a confession to make. Do you know why I teach Sacred Success®? Because that’s what I need to learn. And no one learns more than the teacher. Consider this recent experience.

I had taken on a lot of projects the last few weeks.  I was bursting with new ideas, excited to bring each one to fruition.

Yet, I began to feel myself slowly, subtly, almost imperceptibly slipping into…I couldn’t even say. My enthusiasm waned. I wasn’t as happy. I felt mildly overwhelmed, slightly off kilter. But it made no sense.  I loved everything I was doing!

Then I went to visit my daughter, the farmer.  There, down on the farm, Mother Nature taught me a mighty lesson: The Power of Pruning.

One of my daughter’s chores was pruning the fruit trees. Last year, the farm had a disappointing crop. The problem was they weren’t pruned enough.

“If you don’t prune back most of the new buds,” Anna explained, “too much of the tree’s energy goes into producing foliage instead of growing fruit.”

Without sufficient pruning, she continued, trees spread themselves too thin, reducing the amount of fruit they bear.

In my world, everything’s a metaphor.

Was I, like a fruit tree, spreading myself too thin? Was I letting too many budding projects sap my creativity, my energy, my focus?

I started wondering: if I cut back my output, would I, in the long term, bear more fruit?

Now we get to my confession. This is exactly what I’ve been teaching in Sacred Success™. Yet (gulp) part of me is scared to cut back.  The other part knows I need to.

What do you think? I welcome your advice.

Women are Not Men! (Part I)

Excuse me while I climb up on my favorite soapbox.

I can’t help myself. Dailyworth posed a question that got me all worked up.

What would you tell the financial industry about how, specifically, they can better serve women?

Oh boy. So much to tell. So little space.

But I’d start with this: Women are not men!

Obvious, right? But clearly, the financial industry hasn’t gotten that memo.

I’m a big fan of financial professionals. I’ve had the same advisor for 11 years (after going through nine others that didn’t get the memo either). I even wrote a booklet, “Finding a Financial Advisor You Can Trust.

Sadly, the bulk of advisors (I’m including both sexes here) still live in the dark ages when it comes to female clients.

So, inspired by DailyWorth, here are my suggestion for how the financial industry can shape up and better serve women. I call it:

What Women Wish You Knew Before They Walk into Your Office, Part I

1. Women are all about relationships. Men are transaction oriented. Men communicate to obtain info, establish status, and show independence. Women are ‘other’ oriented. Women communicate to create relationships and make connections. So when dealing with women, think in terms of ‘connecting with’ rather than ‘selling to.’

2. Inspire rather than frighten. The industry seems to think the best way to motivate women is with scary statistics and worst case scenarios. But fear produces paralysis in most women. If you want to motivate a woman, speak to what inspires her, NOT what scares her. While men define success as being in control, women define success is how well they can help others (it’s that relationship thing!). So, instead of filling her with fear, show her how informed investing allows her to help people she loves and causes she’s passionate about.

More pointers coming in Part II. Meanwhile, feel free to send this list to any advisor you know. You’ll be doing them a big favor.

Women are Not Men! (Part II)

Not long ago, I responded to the DailyWorth question: What would you tell the financial industry about how, specifically, they can better serve women?

And, Lord knows, they sure do need help serving women. Smart Money reports that over 70% of women feel under served and dissatisfied with the financial-planning services they receive.

So listen up, all you financial pros. I offered 2 pointers in the first part of this blog. Here are 4 more.

What Women Wish You Knew Before They Walk into Your Office, Part II

1. Educate her. While men prefer to learn through trial and error, women want to be taught.  A study by Deloitte & Touche found that 90% of women expected their advisor to provide education and guidance rather than “sell them on effective investment practices.” And never assume just because a woman wears a designer suit or has an executive title,  she’s savvy with her own money.

2. Think seminars. Women enjoy  seminars because they get to gather in groups, talk among themselves, network, exchange views, learn they’re not alone.   But make sure the seminar you’re offering is really designed for women  and not just a generic clone. Women have distinct issues around  money, different from men, due to their upbringing, cultural conditioning, and  emotional blocks.  Address, don’t avoid, those issues. (Shameless plug:  I offer two turn-key seminars designed specifically for women to be given by financial advisors.)

3. Show respect. Treat women as intelligent adults.  I’m aghast at how many advisors still tend to patronize women, address only the  husband,  or speak ‘financialese’. Being treated with dignity is a big deal for women. We  do not want to be sold to or pressured in any way. We want to feel listened to, understood,  given  choices and time to make our decisions. When we say “I’ll think about it” it doesn’t mean ‘no’…it usually means we’re going to kick around the ideas with  others, which is what we do!

4. Address her emotions. This is a tough one for  advisors, to whom talk of emotions is too touchy feely.  But like it or not, money is a highly  emotional topic for most women.  It’s been our forbidden fruit. You don’t have to be a shrink (though many advisors now partner with therapists or coaches). Ask her  questions,  allow her to talk about her fear, listen to her feelings, slowly educate her, and focus on inspiring rather than scaring her.

This is, by no means, a definitive list. What you would add? Tell me in the comments below. And I’ll pass them on to the wonderful folks at Daily Worth.

While you’re at it, you might want to subscribe. It’s free!

Metafiscal Goes Mainstream (OMG!)

Well, I’ll be darn. Is the Wall Street Journal turning Metafiscal?

I open last Saturday’s Journal and there it was… a half page article waxing Metafiscal.  Of course, it didn’t use that term.  But it certainly preached a major principle. (Read the WSJ article)

According to the article, the biggest super stars swore their stellar success was literally sanctioned by God.

The reporter was focusing on pop singers, pro athletes, and movie stars (who, admittedly, could also be accused of narcissism). Nevertheless, the mega earners I interviewed–who were very successful,  just not in the spotlight–told me the very same thing…

…in almost identical words.  Talent is important but never underestimate the “motivating power of divine conviction” to stack the odds in your favor.

“Believing that God wants you to be famous,” says the reporter Neil Strauss, “actually improves your chance of being famous.”

On the flip side Strauss discovered,  “many equally talented but slightly less famous musicians I  interviewed felt their success was accidental or undeserved—and soon after fell out of the limelight.”

This  “faith gap,” he says,  “is often what sets the merely famous apart from the ridiculously famous. It can make the difference between achieving what’s possible and accomplishing what seems impossible.”

This is precisely how Sacred Success works.  And it makes perfect sense.  Those with a Divine sense of mission–who believe their marching orders come from a Higher Authority–possess a fire in their belly that makes them unstoppable.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?  What is your Divine  Purpose?  Do you believe you even have one?  I’d love you to share  your thoughts in the comments below.

If you want to learn more about Sacred Success click here.

A “Metafiscal” Moment!

So, I’m on a walk with my good friend, Suzy.  We’re talking about metaphysical stuff. Only she mispronounces the word. She calls it: Metafiscal.

Suzy laughs. I shriek! It was a pure light bulb moment.

“Ohmygawd,” I exclaim. “That’s my word. Metafiscal!”

To me,  financial success, especially for women, is both a practical process AND  a spiritual journey.

Now I have a word to describe it. Metafiscal

Metafiscal (adj)—that which blends financial know-how with metaphysical principles; a melding of the sacred and the mundane in regards to money.

The word perfectly captures the essence of all my teachings, but especially my most recent, Sacred Success™, which I’ve often described as the Wall Street Journal meets A Course in Miracles. Now I’ll just simply say it’s my latest Metafiscal work.

Guess what folks. I am a Metafiscal teacher!  Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

5 Words Say it All…

I’m flipping through the Wall Street Journal, when 5 words practically slap me in the face. I’ve no idea what the article was about. But the phrase super-glued itself to my brain.

“The Survival of the Focused…”

Those 5 words sum up the Big Secret to mega financial success.

Those 5 words mark the major distinction between an Underearner and a High Earner.

Those 5 words capture the very essence of what it takes to achieve Greatness.

And for anyone who’s struggling to make ends meet, or live their dream, I say heed those 5 words.

I’m convinced these 5 words offer the key to not just surviving, but thriving, in this new economic paradigm.

This may sound weird, but I’ve always considered myself blessed with an unfair advantage. I’m only good at and enjoy doing 2 things: writing and teaching. Period! I understand why so many with far more skills than I often feel stymied.

Focusing can be very frustrating for the multi-faceted or multi-gifted. But if you want my advice–prioritize your passions. No matter how many interests, talents, opportunities, or possibilities are available to you, financial success will go to the focused.

Do you agree? I’d love to hear what you have to say. Please leave me a comment below!

Anyone Understand ‘Financialese’?

Have you ever met with a financial advisor, and wished you had a translator?  My sister and I, spouses too, have spent the past few months interviewing various advisors for some family trusts.

Nice people, all of them. But once they got started talking, they were suddenly speaking a foreign tongue.

I thought I knew this tongue. I really did. I’ve written 5 books about money. I even wrote one on Finding a Financial Advisor You Can Trust.

But these folks, at various points in the discussion,  had my head reeling.

At first, I was a bit embarrassed. I mean, I should know this stuff, right?

Then it hit me. No wonder so many women aren’t getting the financial help they need. One conversation with an advisor and their heads are reeling too. And most of them just want to put their reeling heads right back in the sand.

Consider this blog (in part) a Plea to Professionals. C’mon, you guys. Speak in plain English. And then check in with clients at frequent intervals to make sure they’re tracking.

But, truth is, I don’t hold out much hope.

And the truth is the onus is on us. I am a Big Believer in working with professionals…be it for a root canal  or retirement planning.  And sometimes the latter can be as painful as the former! But it doesn’t need to be.

Not if we’re willing to speak up,  ask for clarification, and keep asking until we understand.

It all boils down to this. If  you don’t understand  ‘Financialese,’ it doesn’t mean you’re stupid.  It’s simply a sign to ask more questions.  The payoff is clarity. But, I’m here to tell you, the real reward is how powerful you’ll feel for standing up for yourself.

Can you relate to this post? You can tell me about your conversations with a financial advisor by leaving a comment below.

STOPPING The Oh-So-Subtle Self–Sabotage

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.

Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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