Women & Power
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Let’s Talk About the Taboo

I’d like to share an exercise I gave participants at a recent retreat. I call it The Sacred Wealth Circle.

On a blank piece of paper, draw a large circle. Inside the circle, write the names of people you can talk to about money, wealth, and power.

Then, outside the circle, write down the names of people you are close to, but can’t discuss finances because they tend to be naysayers or aren’t interested.

What did you discover?

To create wealth and claim our power, we need support…from other women, mentors and financial experts. Sure, no one can take responsibility for us. But we cannot—should not—do it alone.

An Emory University study revealed: “The pleasure and reward centers of a woman’s brain light up if they can work towards their financial goals in collaboration with other women.”

The world needs more supportive communities of women talking openly, candidly about topics that have been taboo for centuries: money, wealth, and power. Won’t you join me on the first Monday of every month for my free call? https://www.barbara-huson.com/seminars/money-mondays/

It’s a safe place to talk about money, as women.

If you enjoyed these “Words of Wealth”, head over to my website and sign-up for my FREE weekly newsletter at: www.barbarastanny.com

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The Destructive Power of Self-Betrayal

Check if any of these apply to you:

  • You’re angry, but don’t say anything.
  • You’d like to say ‘no,’ but you can’t.
  • You want something, but don’t ask for it.
  • You get an idea but don’t act on it.

If you’ve checked even one, it’s a sign you’ve given your power away. And you’re not alone. We women do it all the time!

Why are so many of us reluctant to say what they think, feel, or need?

Mostly, to avoid conflict. We’re afraid if we take a stand, we’ll be rejected, disliked, or disapproved of. Instead, we water ourselves down so as not to make waves.

Over time, these acts of self-betrayal destroys our self-esteem…and quality of life.

Good news! If you can give your power away, you can also take it back. How? 3 Steps.

  1. Ask yourself the Power Question—What do I want? Not what does my husband, or kids or boss or society want. What do I want? This isn’t a question we’ve often asked, so it may take time to answer.
  2. Look for opportunities to say no to what you don’t want, ask for what you do want and express what you feel and think. If this is new, it will be very uncomfortable. Do your best.
  3. Get support. Seek out people to be cheerleaders, sounding boards and role models. We women need support when things are scary. And risking backlash can be very scary. But when you think about it…self-betrayal is even scarier.

If you enjoyed these “Words of Wealth”, head over to my website and sign-up for my FREE weekly newsletter at: www.barbarastanny.com


Top Ten Tips for a Terrific Negotiation

1 Know what you want. Research the going rates in your field. Ask the high end of the spectrum. You can always negotiate down, but never up.

2 Have points prepared. Build a case around your value and what you bring to the company.

3 Always start negotiations on a positive note.  For example, thank the employer for the opportunity and make a counter offer.

4 “No” means “not now.”

5 Negotiate more than money: early salary review, signing bonus, relocation costs, profit sharing, flexible schedule, paid time off, benefits, perks, educational programs, expense account, club memberships, bigger office, laptop, cell phone, job title.

6 Act confident (even if you don’t feel it). Perceived confidence has a big impact.

7 Request 24 to 72 hours to think over the offer.

8 If someone acts put off by a reasonable counter offer, consider it a red flag or negotiating ploy. Perhaps the employer doesn’t value what you bring to the table. Or it’s an effort to intimidate you into agreement.

9 The best time to negotiate, or renegotiate, is when you have job offers from another company.

10 Above all, focus on relationship building. It’s a lot more difficult to say ‘no’ if they like you.

If you enjoyed these “Words of Wealth”, head over to my website and sign-up for my FREE weekly newsletter at: www.barbarastanny.com

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Ain’t Never Too Late!

I was on a book tour, giving a yet another speech. But this one I’ll never forget because of what happened afterwards.

An older woman, leaning on a cane, waited patiently to purchase a signed book. She was 84 years old, she told me when it was finally her turn, and had been married to a very wealthy physician. He was always on the phone, yelling at his broker, which made her very uncomfortable. So she let him handle all the finances.

Ten years ago, he died. He not only left her no money, but all his investments were on margin (he used borrowed money), so he left her saddled with debt.

Before the shock even wore off, she said, she found a financial advisor, started taking classes, learned about investing.

“I’m a very wealthy woman today,” she told me proudly, announcing she’d just returned from a round-the-world cruise.

In one of those crazy coincidences, I bumped into her 7 years later. She had just turned 91. When I asked how she was doing, she responded with what I could only describe as a devilish grin: “I’ve done better in the market than any man would’ve done for me.”

It’s never, ever, ever too late to start!

Bless The Naysayers

God Bless Those Naysayers

There’s a form of support you may not recognize: the Naysayer.

These pessimists have a purpose. Every time you decide to do something new, the beloved Patron Saint of Risk sends down her Angels of Gloom to shower you with disapproval.

The loftier your goal, the worse their negativity. The more tentative you feel, the gloomier they sound.

If they succeed in dissuading you, be glad. Your commitment simply wasn’t strong enough to do what it takes to get what you want.

If you’re still determined, regardless of their bad tidings, then you win the Saint’s blessing. You’ve got what it takes to break new ground.

And if you’re really sharp, you found some food for thought in the crumbs of their criticism.

You Are The Average Of The 5 People You Surround Yourself With

Who Are You Hanging Around With?

Whatever you achieve (or don’t) is significantly affected by everyone you associate with on a regular basis.

Just as it takes a village to raise a child, I’m convinced it takes a supportive community to raise your income.

If the people around you are going to frown upon your success, if there’s a chance they’ll reject you, it’s way too easy to throw in the towel. Why risk abandonment when you’ve got so much support for just staying put?

It’s a well known fact: “You become who you’re with.”

Yes I Can

“You Can’t Do That! Who Do You Think You Are??”

We all have our internal critics. The ones that tell us what we can’t possibly do.

Those voices may never shut up.

But just because you hear voices in your head, doesn’t mean you have to follow them.

As Vincent Van Gogh once said: “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you can not paint,’ by all means paint and the voice will be silenced.”

Indeed, keep reminding yourself: “that’s not my voice.” It’s the voice of a parent, the culture, teachers, friends, something ‘out there.’ But it isn’t mine.


It’s Never Success That Scares You!! Never!

She sat across the table, looking every bit the savvy businesswoman that she was.

As we chatted over kale salads, she told me how her company, not yet two years old, was growing exponentially.

Then she lowered her voice and leaned in close. “There’s something I need to talk about. I’ve never shared this with anyone.”

“What is it?” I asked, also leaning forward, our foreheads almost touching. I could tell this was difficult for her.

“I’m afraid of success. I can already see little ways I’m holding myself back.”

“Tell me what you’re scared of.”

“I’m afraid people won’t like me,” she began slowly, then quickly added, “I’m afraid people will want more of me than I can give them. I’m so busy now, I’m afraid I’ll have no time for myself. I’m scared it will all be too much.”

“You’re not afraid of success,” I responded. “You’re afraid of power. There’s a definite difference.”

I share this conversation with you because I believe it reveals a critical distinction that we women need to understand. Let me explain.

It’s NOT about Money!

Dollar SignThe Bag Lady Syndrome is alive and well. In the latest Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study (2013), almost half the women polled are scared of becoming a bag lady –even those earning more than $200,000 per year. Why do so many bright, capable, and…yes…successful women continue to struggle with financial insecurity?  Why do you?

The answer, I believe, has nothing to do with money…and everything to do with our fear of (or ambivalence about) power.

Phyllis Chesler wrote in her groundbreaking book, Women, Money, and Power: “Money is a power sacred to most men and foreign to most women.”  These words written over 30 years ago, still hold true today.

The problem, as I see it, is this: We’ve never been taught the secret wisdom of creating wealth and exercising power, as women. Studies reveal that the sexes view money and power through very different lenses.

Generally speaking, a man’s self-esteem comes from his achievements; power itself is the ultimate goal.  A woman derives self esteem from relationships; power is a means to an end.

So while men covet the cachet of the corner office, women crave the opportunity to help others, grow personally, and live authentically.

The word ‘power,’ which comes from the Latin word, potere (‘to be able’) means the “ability to act or produce an effect.” The definition applies to both genders.

But as it relates to women, I much prefer to define power using the words of psychologist Eric Fromm: “The main task in life is to give birth to our self to become what we actually are.”

When you view power from that perspective, you begin to understand our resistance more clearly. Essentially, our fear of power is our fear of becoming who we really are, doing what we were put here to do, in the biggest way possible.

This fear keeps us settling for less instead of asking for more, shrinking to fit rather than playing full out, clinging to safety to avoid taking the leap.

This is precisely the reason I developed my new body of work, Sacred Success®. Rather than pushing women to pursue power in traditional fashion, Sacred Success® seeks to redefine power from a feminine perspective.

I’ll be exploring this whole issue of women and power in future blogs.  Meanwhile, I’d love your feedback: How would you redefine power? Or would you?



My Anger at Men

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“Insecure people can be vicious.”—A Course in Miracles

What began as an angry outburst ended with a stunning revelation.

My Man and I were watching Law & Order on TV. There was one scene where 4 female detectives were chasing down the bad guys, about to solve the case.

And My Man, who is utterly supportive of me, says: “Hey, how come it’s all women on screen? Are there any men in this show?”

I was aghast. “I don’t believe you just said that,” I exclaimed, smoke coming out my nostrils.

Was My Man a closet chauvinist? He clearly didn’t like watching all these women in power. I had never seen this side of him before.

I was pissed. He had no idea why.

I tried to explain his comment was yet another example of women being marginalized, minimized by men.   Something I’ve lived with my whole life. Something I’ve been working so hard to change. Something that’s caused me a lot of pain.

He fell silent for a few minutes, quietly pondering his reaction. I never expected what he said next. I know, for a fact, he didn’t either.

“I don’t have a problem with powerful women,” he explained softly. “The problem is that if women get too much power, men will have too little.  Then there’s no place left for a man to be a man.”

We were both quiet for a bit (stunned may be the better word), then he continued. “I’m afraid if it’s not a man’s world, I’ll be playing the previous role women had, a  diminished role.   I don’t want to be in a diminished role.”

At that moment, I felt My Man could be speaking for millions of others.  Behind his dismissive remark was a deep insecurity, albeit unconscious.

Suddenly my anger at chauvinism morphed into compassion for males.  How many other men are threatened  by powerful women, as if there’s only so much power to go around?

Believe me, I’m not making excuses for misogyny or gender discrimination.  But this little tiff got me thinking.

I’ve been so focused on empowering women. Perhaps it’s time to educate our men. Clearly, they’re as afraid of our power as we are.

Men need to know we’re not seeking domination. That’s not how we work. We genuinely want partnership. We want to share power, not usurp it.

I’ll tell you one thing…my little outburst has led to some fascinating discussions.  I’d love  your comments. Have you ever had a similar experience with men in your life?

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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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