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The Retreat To Being…

If you follow my tweets, you already know.  I just returned from a 5 day retreat, to (as tweeted) “pause, get pampered, and ponder what’s next.”

I was bordering on burn out, and needed to get away.  It wasn’t burn out in the normal sense… I wasn’t exhausted, depressed, or down on my work.  I was just ‘blah’, as in:  there’s no creative juice left in this orange… I was squeezed dry.

My  coach, Martha Lynn Walker, told me what to do:  “get away by yourself,”  she said.   “You’re too into ‘doing.’  You need time for ‘being.’”  That was last Thursday.

You know how, when something is right, the seas seem to part?  That’s what happened to me.  I found the perfect spot within 2 hours driving distance.  Unfortunately, it was booked solid.  Magically, a room became available an hour later.  Within 24 hours,  I was unpacked,  settled in,  gazing at the water view,  journal in hand… just ‘ being.’

My intention:  to breakthrough my blahs… get my mojo back!  I had no idea how… but as I always say; “when the intention is strong, the ‘how’ always shows up.”

Immediately, I had a realization.  Well, it wasn’t really  new… but I always ignored it.  It was something I’ve long wanted to do, but couldn’t get myself to do it.

What I realized:  I rarely blog about me.  I rarely share my innermost thoughts or my personal journey… especially around money.  Even though  that’s the whole point of a blog, right?  But I was scared, resistant.  I’m great at writing other people’s stories or reporting facts and observations.  Self exposure, however, felt  scary, vulnerable.

Which made the next step obvious… I have to face my resistance by revealing myself.  So that’s what I want to do,  starting now.

I’m going to use the next couple of blogs to tell you about my retreat and my revelations.  What’s more, I suspect what I learned about myself could inspire many of you.  It certainly inspired me… I’m back to business, mojo intact.

Barbara Stanny

The leading authority on women & money
[email protected]
www.barbarastanny.com

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5 Tips For Earning What You Really Deserve

Want to make more money?  Well, I’ve got the secret.  And I’ll bet it’s not what you think.

It sure wasn’t what I expected when I interviewed hundreds of high earners for my books; Secrets of Six-Figure Women and Overcoming Underearning®. Very few of these highly successful women were driven by money, yet they still demanded to be well compensated because – and here’s the Big Secret – they felt they were worth it.

The good news is that it’s possible for all of us to build up our self worth. Here are some tips for pumping up your self-esteem along with your net worth:

1. Think Big, Then Think Even Bigger

What most of us do is unwittingly limit our earnings by lowering our expectations.  Especially women.  The idea is to think in terms of what you are worth, not just what you assume the market will bear.

2. Do Your Homework

One of the worst negotiating mistakes women make is picking a number out of the air that’s way too low.  The smarter ones find out their market value by researching the going rates, then ask for more than is offered so they’ll have room to maneuver and negotiate.

3.  Take the Initiative

Have tangible evidence of what you bring to the table.  Maybe you saved your company x-amount of dollars or had an idea that generated so many sales. Every time you accept more responsibility, successfully complete a challenge or create positive changes, document it.  Keeping records is an effective means of demonstrating your value to an organization.

4.  Daily Affirmations – Act As If

Affirmations are positive statements expressed as if they’ve already happened.  For example: “I have the confidence to ask for what I want” or
I deserve more money in my life“.   Write them down.  Post them in full view. Say them out loud as often as possible.  When you act as if you’re worth a lot, you’ll eventually convince yourself as well as others.

5.  Challenge yourself in other areas

A stretch in any area of life has a ripple effect in other areas as well.  If you can’t quite get yourself to volunteer for that tough assignment or ask for a raise, try signing up for an art class or running a marathon.  Anything that puts you out of your comfort zone builds confidence and self-worth.

By practicing these tips, you’ll begin to notice a shift in how you feel about yourself.  Making more money becomes not something you should do, but something you have to do – because you know in your heart you’re worth it.

Barbara Stanny

The leading authority on women & money
[email protected]
www.barbarastanny.com

Sign up for Barbara’s free newsletter at:

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It May Be Time To Let Go!

Want to kick things up a notch (or 2 or 3) in your life? Ask yourself this: “What do I need to let go of?”  Seriously.   “Letting go” is a profound strategy few people fully understand.

When you pinpoint what’s holding you back, and are willing to let it go, miracles occur.  There is one catch, however.  Usually, the very thing you most need to let go of, is that which is most scary to give up.

Let me give you an example.  This just occurred in my latest Overcoming Underearning® teleclass (see www.barbarastanny.com/coaching-tele-seminars).  One woman, let’s call her Dee, was desperate to get out of debt.  Her main problem – her house was more than she could afford, but she couldn’t bear to let it go.  Her home was her sanctuary,  a retreat from the world,  tucked away in a little village that was nearby, but felt worlds away from the big city. Her closest friends were her neighbors.  She never had to lock her doors.  How could she  ever leave this?

Yet as our class continued, it became clear.  Dee needed to sell the house.  It broke her heart, but it was the right thing to do.   From that point on, things happened quickly.

She’d sat down to write a newspaper ad  when there was a knock on the door.  A man introduced himself as the father of her next-door neighbor.  He wondered  if, by any chance, she’d sell her house.  Dee’s jaw dropped, but she kept her cool.  They closed the deal, that very day, for $15,000 above what would’ve been her asking price.  And the man paid cash (yes, a big wad of cash now sits in the bank).

Dee’s bound to miss her house. But she won’t miss the debt.  And the relief  in her voice was palpable.  In fact, she was down right giddy.  Besides, she’s surprisingly excited about looking for houses in her price range.

The moral of this story?  The next time you feel stuck or weighted down, instead of asking; “What do I need to do?” Ask yourself; What do I need to let go of?” Then take the leap and watch for the miracle… and please share your story with me!

Barbara Stanny

The leading authority on women & money
[email protected]
www.barbarastanny.com

Sign up for Barbara’s free newsletter at

https://www.barbara-huson.com/inner-circle-join.html

An Amazing Secret For Creating Abundance

image-sunflowers I made a fascinating discovery in my interviews with women who made millions.  They had a very high capacity to receive… in stark contrast to underearners!  That’s when I realized: There’s a direct correlation between our level of abundance and our ability to receive

…which got me thinking about my own ability to receive — something I’d never really given much thought to.

As a result, I started a “Receiving Journal”.  I actually conceived the idea of a Receiving Journal for the High Earner Intensive tele-seminar (which evolved into Sacred Success).  I assigned it as homework, and decided to try it myself.  OMG, what an eye-opener.

Keeping a Receiving Journal serves the same purpose as tracking your spending.  Both are consciousness raising tools.  But instead of increasing your awareness of money going out, a Receiving Journal forces you to face all the abundance flowing in.

As A Course of Miracles tells us: “Every day a thousand treasures come to me with every passing moment.”   The problem, however, is that the distractions of daily life keep us from noticing those treasures.  Ignoring treasures that flow in is, essentially, an act of pushing them away, of saying ‘no’ to abundance (whatever form it may take).

To fully access the power of a Receiving Journal, you have to understand this: everything that happens holds a gift for the receiver, regardless of whether you judge the event as ‘good’ or  ‘bad’.

Here’s how it works: in your Receiving Journal, write down everything you are given throughout the day:  from a word of praise to a kiss on the cheek, from a muscle spasm in your back to a reprimand from your boss.  The challenge, of course, is to find the treasure  in what may seem awful.  But even the good stuff can be challenging to accept.

For example:  I started noticing how often I’d gloss over expressions of praise or appreciation for my work, without really taking the words in and owning them fully.  So I started listing, in my journal, every compliment, every appreciative email I got.  And when I had a fight with my boyfriend, I actually stopped to figure out the gift (after my short bout with self pity) and discovered I was repeating a pattern that had messed up other relationships. That insight went in my journal too.

I love the impact this is having on my bottom line.  But even more, I’ve never felt so good about myself.  And as I learned from interviews with former underearners, the moment they began raising their self esteem, their income went up almost immediately.   Maybe that’s what a Receiving Journal is all about… not just expanding your ability to receive, but actually learning to love yourself, in a much bigger way. I’ll tell you this… it’s working!!!!

 

Start Reading The Wall Street Journal, Now!

Note to financial neophytes—don’t let theStart Reading The Wall Street Journal - Now! Wall Street Journal intimidate you.  It’s a fabulous learning tool…and offers some fascinating reading… for everyone, no matter how much, or how little, you know.  http://online.wsj.com/home-page

Sure it’s full of, what may appear to some, as indecipherable gobbly-gook, written in ‘broker-speak.’  But the WSJ is a very powerful resource, so ignore all of that and focus on the following:

1.      Peruse the front page.  Every once in a while there are some great human interest stories about the good, bad, and especially the greedy.  Plus, the side-bar on the left is like “Current Events for Dummies”… a collection of news snippets giving you a speedy update  to the latest news (financial and otherwise).

2.      Glance over the following two sections: Marketplace and Money& Investing.  A quick peek is all you need. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll pick up just by osmosis.

3.      Savor the fourth section (called by different names depending on the day of the week): Personal Journal (Tuesday-Friday); The Journal Report (Monday);  Weekend Journal (Saturday).  This section is loaded with easy-to-read,  often fascinating,  and always useful  tidbits….everything from fashion, sports and personal finance to restaurant, wine and  book reviews.

Let’s take Monday’s WSJ’s Journal Report (theme for this report was “Your Money Matters”).  The front page article was Best Online Tools for Personal Finance, and it was chock full of excellent (and free) website recommendations.

Even if the only thing you do is glance at the Wall Street Journal everyday for 3 months, you’ll be amazed at how much you learn!  Don’t be intimated.  The Wall Street Journal is a great resource, and a must read if you’re serious about upping your personal “financial awareness quotient”!   Try it and report back.

Can The “Secret” Really Work?

I’m a big fan of The Secret.  I’ve watched the DVD at least 50 times.  This wildly successful video and book introduced the “Law of Attraction” (LOA) to millions of people.   And that’s a very good thing…to a point.Can the Secret really work?

Simply put, the Law of Attraction says:  Our thoughts create our reality.  What we focus on expands.  In other words, if you want to be rich, don’t focus on lack of wealth.

But here’s where it gets confusing.  How many people (you, maybe?) really want wealth,  and refuse to focus on anything but abundance… yet still,  nothing changes.   Their bills pile up while their bank balance shrivels.

What the Secret failed to mention is that the LOA is only part of the equation for creating wealth.  What’s missing are the other 2 Laws:

1.       The Law of Discipline
2.       The Law of Congruency

#1. The Law of Discipline.  Discipline — consistent activity in the direction of your desire — is the root of all success.  You can visualize flowers blooming, hitting a hole in one, or wads of cash,  but unless you exercise disciplined effort and pull the weeds, practice your putt, or follow the rules of money (spend less, save more, invest wisely), you’re not going to succeed at anything.

#2.  The Law of Congruency.  You get what you want not what you ask for.   For example, you may say “I want to be rich,” but if you distrust wealthy people, don’t believe you deserve wealth, or see money as the root of all evil, then wealth isn’t really what you want.  This inner discord explains why affirmations or positive thinking, as powerful as they are, don’t always work… your spoken goals are in conflict with your true desires, and deep down, you don’t actually want what you’re asking for.

Whenever I’m wondering why I’m not attracting something, I always ask myself 2 questions, in this order:

1.       Why don’t I want it?

2.       What am I not doing, that I need to be doing?

Try it, and let me know what you think!  And for more help and support in achieving your financial and personal desires, check out the schedule of Seminars listed on my website!

Ready to $tart getting $mart???

Does this sound like you?

“It’s a new year! I’m finally going to tackle my finances.  Yep, I’m really ready to get smart about money. Well…sort of.   I mean, I do want to learn…but it just seems so overwhelming.  Where do I start?”

Start with this article: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-newsReading up/savings-money-club-comeback-1264.php. Not just because I’m in it! The author, Dana Dratch,  does a fabulous job of explaining how to make  financial education fun! FUN????

Yes, FUN!  Invite some friends, bring some food, and start a Money Club.

“The idea has been around for years,” Dana writes. “A small group of friends, co-workers or, in some cases, complete strangers meet regularly to polish money skills, discuss money challenges and set concrete goals. Don’t confuse money clubs with investment clubs, in which members focus on investing skills and may even make investing decisions as a group or pool their money. “

Dana also interviewed Ginita Wall, the co-founder of www.wife.org (which I believe is the best financial education site on the internet for women) and a major proponent of money clubs. Ginita created the site; www.TheMoneyClub.org, where you can download a  free Leader’s Guide for “individuals interested in starting a club, and a menu of lesson plans for meetings.“

Money clubs are exploding in popularity. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s in a money club…got any tips or advice for the rest of us?

Women In Power – Best Kept Secret

HandsI want to share with you one of the best kept secrets in the world of women and power. It’s called Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts. I had no idea what Mama Gena’s was all about until Regena Thomashauer (aka Mama Gena) asked me to speak earlier this year.  When I walked into the room, the energy was so high and the women I met so extraordinary, I knew I had to check it out. So I signed up for Mastery.

The course explores power in ways that will deeply transform your relationship with yourself as a woman along with your ability to create your dreams and desires. What it did for me was help me identify and overcome barriers that have kept me from living my life to the fullest.

Regena’s work is truly cutting edge. I’d love you to check it out at  http://www.mamagenas.com, or contact me with any questions.  A new Mastery is starting soon…I’d love to see you there!

Achieving Financial Success, In Spite of Fear (yours and everyone else’s)

Have the headlines got you spooked?

I Can Do This !! Let me introduce you to my 2    Laws for Financial   Success…In Spite of Fear  (yours and everyone else’s!)…(drum roll please!)…expressly for the faint-hearted and other victims of the current fear mongering.

1.  Stanny’s Law of Resistance—the amount of resistance you experience in any endeavor is directly correlated to the amount of power and pleasure available on the other side.

2.  Stanny’s Law of a Lousy Economy—no matter how bad the economy, there will always be people who are prospering.

The following email demonstrates these laws in action.   The writer, a seminar graduate, ended up in the hospital after the first day of a 2 day seminar!  Even though she was in utter fear and the economy sucked big-time, she tenaciously respected Stanny’s Laws!  Look what happened:

Dear Barbara,

I took your Overcoming Under Earning Workshop last fall.   I am the woman who spent the night (after the first day) hooked to an IV in the emergency room.   My body was physically rebelling the changes that were taking place  in  me emotionally in your workshop!   As crazy as it seemed, I forced myself back for the second day… knowing I had every excuse not to launch deeper into more of my financial  mud pit.

Thank goodness I did… I am very happy to report that despite the economic upheaval of our Country I am better than ever.!!!! Since I saw you I have made some real tangible changes.  First off, I got the courage to go back to court and get a child support adjustment… this was something that I had been avoiding for 9 years… results a 233% increase!!!! Long overdue, obviously.

Even better than that, I finally know my financial future is completely in my hands… and that is incredibly empowering.   I now know that I control my financial future.  (I feel excited just writing this, and even more excited living it!!! )  I am working “smarter not harder“.

I have adjusted my business focus to accommodate the economic environment.  I now do what I had been doing full time, part time, and am working more full time with my internet brokerage company.  The  shift in focus has given me great financial success, as a matter of fact by staying on the course I am on  now, I am estimated to triple my best income  ever within 12 months!!!  Wow, didn’t even know what leverage was about a few years ago.

Just wanted to send you my  success story and express my thanks   for you, and the door that you helped me open in my life!

The moral of this story: never ever let fear or resistance stop you from going for the gold… regardless of what’s happening ‘out there’ or going on ‘in here’ (i.e. your head).  Resistance is simply a clear indication of what you need to do next!!

Help, I Think I’m A Compulsive Shopper!

It’s the finale…the last installment of popular questions. I hope they’ve been helpful. And if you have any questions for me, feel free to ask. I’d love to hear from you! So here we go:

Road to financial empowerment for women

1. I’m getting married next year. Should my fiancé and I keep separate accounts or have one joint account?
It’s fine to have a joint account for bill paying, etc, but be sure you have one for yourself too. Every woman needs an account in her own name.

2. How can I stop being such a compulsive shopper?
As my mentor, Karen McCall, a pioneer in financial recovery, always said: “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.” The problem isn’t the shopping, but the “hole in your soul” you’re trying to fill. I highly recommend attending DA (Debtors Anonymous) meetings, a 12 step program for over-spenders, chronic debtors, and underearners.

3. What is one of the most common money mistakes women make and how can I avoid it?
Without a doubt; it’s doing nothing because you’re afraid of making a mistake. My advice is to spend 3-6 months educating yourself. How?

  1. Every day read something about money, even if it’s just the headlines in the business section of the newspaper, even if it’s only for 1or 2 minutes.
  2. Every week, talk about money, particularly with someone who knows more than you. (taking a class counts too).
  3. Every month, save by having a small amount from your paycheck or checking account automatically deposited in a savings and/or retirement account.

I also encourage women to find a financial advisor they can trust, who will hold them accountable and keep them on track.

4. I’m always worrying about money. How can I calm my fears?

  1. Educate yourself. Knowledge is the best anecdote for fear. The goal is to make financial decisions from knowledge, not ignorance, emotion or habit. Doing the 3 steps I outlined above is an amazingly simple but effective way to conquer money fears.
  2. Join with others. We women are so relationship oriented, one of the best ways to learn is to get support by forming (or joining) a money book club, money study group, or investment club.
  3. Track your spending. Write down every penny you spend for at least a month, then transfer those amounts to spending categories. This exercise allows you to see how/where you can shave expenses, figure out a debt repayment plan, and increase savings.
  4. Create an emergency savings fund with at least 6 months worth of living expenses (a shoe sale is NOT an emergency!)

5. As a young career woman, what’s the single smartest thing I can do with my money now?
Automatic savings. Arrange to have the bank, every month, withdraw money from your checking account or paycheck and deposit it monthly into a personal savings account. Even small amounts ($10 or $20 a month) consistently saved accumulate quickly. It’s money you’d otherwise fritter away. And you don’t miss what you don’t see!! Do the same with your company’s retirement account.

6. My current salary is under 50K. How can I make more money?
If you love what you do, ask for a raise. If you get a ‘no’, ask your boss what you need to do for a pay increase. If you feel dead-ended, or dislike your current job, start looking for a better, higher paying one. Figure out what you’re passionate about and network like crazy. From my interviews with six- and seven-figure women, I discovered that four factors are essential for financial success and quality of life (both are important):

  1. Passion—loving what you do
  2. Audacity—doing what you fear
  3. Resilience—getting back up when you fall down
  4. Community—reaching out for support

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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