Women & Power
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Your Brain on Savings

There’s actually a positive side to being stuck at home. Personal savings have skyrocketed. But my guess is that when the pandemic passes, savings will plummet.

The fault may lie in our brains.

A recent study by Cornell University neuroscientists discovered that our brains are biased toward earning and against saving. Perhaps it’s the immediate gratification our paychecks offer while putting aside small amounts feels about as gratifying as watching grass grow.

“Fundamentally it comes down to this: saving is less valuable to our brains, which devote less attentional resources to it,” said the co-author Adam Anderson. “Our brains find saving more difficult to attend to.”

Yet fixating on earnings can be fool hardy. I call it the Illusion of Affluence. I see it all the time. Successful women spending too much, saving too little, plowing all profits back into their businesses or on classes for personal growth (deceptively calling it “an investment”).

Their ample earnings gives them the illusion, but not the security of true abundance. The real measure of wealth is your net worth…not what you earn but what you keep.

Giving is Good, Right? That Depends….

Do you know what today is? National Give Something Away Day. Which got me thinking about giving. We women have been groomed to be Givers. And Giving is good, right? Well, that depends…

There are two kinds of Giving. One empowers. The other weakens. The latter–which I call Giving ‘Til It Hurts—is what’s been expected of women for generations. Sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others.

Giving ‘Til It Hurts provides the illusion of being needed, important, powerful. But self-denial is, in fact, an abdication of power, leaving you exhausted, resentful and depressed, often crippling the receivers, robbing them of their self-esteem or sense of sovereignty.

Powerful Giving, on the other hand, is what I call Giving With Boundaries. This means giving to yourself first, with love, not guilt, refusing to do anything that sucks you dry or leaves you cold.

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How Do You Know if You’re Financially Independent?

In the spirit of the 4th of July we recently celebrated, I have a question for you. Are you financially independent? 

I’m curious how many of you responded with a resounding YES! But I’m guessing many of you are either shaking your head ‘no’ or furrowing your brow, wondering if you are.

Let me clarify.

You are Financially Independent if you have enough to meet your needs and satisfy many (not necessarily all) of your wants…free from the stress of overdue bills and struggling to make ends meet.

Financial Independence has nothing to do with how much money you earn, but how much money you keep. You achieve it by spending less than you have and saving more than you need.

But for some of you, spending less and saving more is akin to self-imposed poverty. I’m reminded of an email I once received…

“How can I SAVE money to create wealth (which means cutting back spending) and still have a feeling of ABUNDANCE (which means the desire to SPEND) and not a mentality of LACK?” 

In her mind, spending provided the pretense of prosperity while saving felt like self-denial. 

To someone with a wealthy mindset, saving means giving the money to yourself (not Visa or Starbucks) so that ultimately you can purchase whatever you please without pressure or worry.

The difference between the two mindsets is not deprivation but delayed gratification. 

I remember, as I struggled to clean up my financial mess, my mentor, Karen McCall, saying to me, “It’s ok to have massages, but what if you had one a month instead of every week, and deposit what you would’ve paid into your savings?” 

I followed her advice. And because I did, I gave my future self the gift of financial independence.

What could you do to give yourself the gift of financial independence? Leave me a comment.


Financial independence is easier with support. Join my virtual community, The Wealth Connection today! Learn More.

Here’s What Really Needs to Change

Am I the only one feeling this way?

Yes, the protests—peaceful or not—have led to incredible changes. Companies are hiring more blacks. Communities are implementing radical police reforms. The shares in black-owned businesses are soaring.

But to create true and lasting equality, we must look beyond the external. To change the collective, we need to transform the individual.

I say this from experience.

I came of age during Women’s Lib. Enraged by rampant discrimination, we took to the streets, burning our bras, demanding gender equality. And lo and behold, the workplace opened its doors, albeit a crack. The banks gave us credit cards without requiring a man’s signature.

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What’s the Point of Saving When Cash Earns So Little?

Q: Does it make sense to keep putting cash in savings accounts which pay next to nothing?

A: Yes!!! Money you won’t need in the next 3-5 years should be in the market, where it can earn a lot more. But it’s important to set aside cash, even small amounts, on a regular basis. Even better if it’s in a higher yield online account like Ally or Capital One.

Here are 3 reasons why savings is smart, even when interest rates are rock-bottom. 

Reason #1— Peace of Mind. Unexpected emergencies are inevitable. Your cat needs surgery. You need a root canal. Your kids need new shoes. Without ready cash, you’ll turn to plastic.  But if those bills go unpaid, the sky-high interest will keep ratcheting up, wreaking havoc on your credit rating, not to mention your serenity.

Reason #2— Protection. Of course, if you have a brokerage account, you could always sell stock to cover your costs. But what if the market is tanking, forcing you to take a big loss?  Or worse, your only recourse, other than debt, is to borrow from your retirement fund, incurring fines and penalties, ruining  your plans to retire and endangering your future security.

Reason #3—Guilt-free Pleasures. Once travel restrictions are eased, you’d give anything for a week at a spa. There’s a pair of boots you’ve been coveting forever.  On your next anniversary, you’d love to splurge on a romantic dinner at an upscale restaurant.  These are often called guilty pleasures. But sufficient savings will erase any trace of guilt, leaving you with purely pleasurable experiences.

It’s true. Savings accounts may not make you wealthy. But they sure can increase your sense of well-being. And that, in itself, is worth a hell of a lot.

Are you continuing to save? Leave me a comment below.


How would you like to be able to ask Barbara questions like the one in today’s blog—anytime you want? Well, you can! Join The Wealth Connection today! Learn More!

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Feeling Like an Imposter? Time to Rewire

I just read that award-winning Maya Angelou, after publishing her 11th book, thought to herself: “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody.”

Can you imagine Maya Angelo feeling like fraud!! But looking back, I think of all the  courageous, confident, highly successful women I’ve interviewed who told me they still felt like a fraud long after their careers were flourishing.

Sadly, the imposter syndrome is epidemic among women, even the most successful ones. In Neuroscience, I found a possible explanation as to why. Despite their achievements, these women never rewired their old belief systems.

They didn’t prepare themselves mentally as they pushed themselves physically. Because they hadn’t changed their thoughts, their brains remained wired to see only the past.

Their low self-image hadn’t caught up with their incredible successes. Their old neuropathways still dictated their current perceptions.

The moral of this story:  before you focus on changing your behavior, you must transform the causes of that behavior—your thoughts and beliefs. 

What thoughts and behaviors could you begin to rewire for success? Leave me a comment below.


Get the support you need. Join my virtual community, The Wealth Connection where women support women! Learn More!
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Pondering Your Purpose

Mark Twain once said: “The two most important days in life are the day you were born and the day you discover the reason why.” 

 

I can’t think of a more productive way to use this time in quarantine—even as restrictions begin to lift—to ponder your purpose…to ask yourself: Why am I here on this planet at this time? 

 

There’s immense power in having a clear and focused purpose, especially when you’re navigating turbulent seas. 

 

No matter how frightened you are or how impossible it seems, a strong sense of mission turns ‘I want to’ into ‘I HAVE to.’ 

 

Purposes can range from the extremely ambitious (create world peace) to the seemingly trivial (spread joy). And your purpose may change as you change.

 

If you’re unsure of your purpose, here are 4 places to look.

 

1. In Past Pain

I’m not sure our life purpose has to come from pain (though mine did), but it’s a good place to start. What has been your most painful challenge in life?

 

2. In World Problems

Ask yourself: What is the one problem in the world that you yearn to see solved, and would be willing to spend the next 10 years of your life working on, talking about, and being part of the solution for?  

 

3. In Childhood Play

As we look back at the tapestry of our lives, it’s easy to spot certain threads that show up in our youth and continually repeat, displaying an unwavering pattern holding clues to our purpose. What did you love to play as a kid?

 

4. In Secret Wishes

Once, someone asked me: “If you could have anyone’s job, whose would it be?” That was easy. Neil Diamond’s. I yearned to write my songs and sing them. OK, so I can’t carry a tune. But I’ve managed to write my songs (books) and sing (teach) them. If you could have anyone’s job, whose would it be?

 

I’d love to hear about your purpose. Leave me a comment below.


Get the support you need. Join my virtual community, The Wealth Connection where women support women! Learn More!

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Reinventing Normal

I’m hearing the same thought from numerous sources. Once the pandemic has passed, don’t expect a return to normal. Life as we’ve known it will never be the same.

That can feel scary. Indeed, uncertainty is frightening. But what if the current crises is not to be feared? What if we welcomed it as a much-needed wake-up call?

I’m reminded of a 2019 Ted Talk by Ashweetha Shetty. Though her subject was education, her words feel eerily prophetic.

 “All of us are born into a reality we blindly accept,” she said, “until something awakens us and a new world opens up.”

I’m wondering if that’s what’s happening now. “Something” (Spirit. perhaps) is trying to awaken us to other possibilities—possibilities other than the reality we’ve “blindly accepted.”

What if we all used this time in isolation to imagine the new normal we’d love to create? What if we reimagine a future unlike the past?

Think about the life you crave, not the one you live. Consider the legacy you wish to leave. Allow your imagination to run wild, to dream audaciously. Make it fun, as if you’re a child playing make-believe.

Notice if your thoughts tell you it’s not practical or even plausible. Know that’s your brain defaulting to old neuropathways.  Resist the urge to acquiesce.

Instead, trust this is your intended future yearning to emerge. Allow the ideas to sink into your psyche. Adopt them as your new story.

Repeat this story often (especially when tempted to tell your old one). Focus on it in meditation. Visualize it as you fall asleep.

Rest assured. This new story is not some grandiose tale told by your insecure Ego, but guidance from your loving Soul, urging you to step into your Greatness, shining your light in a world steeped in darkness.

Tell me about your new normal—the one you’d love to start living.  Share in the comments below as if it’s already a reality.


LogoCould you use some extra support during these crazy times? I’d love to mentor you in my 5-month ReWire Mentorship Program. Click here to learn more about this life-changing program.

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Questions for A Quarantine

Ten years ago, a coach bluntly told me: “You’re too into doing, Barbara. You need time for just being.” I was depleted, burned out and knew she was right.

I cleared my calendar, eliminated all but the essentials and created space for self-reflection.  My mantra was “I surrender and receive.” 

I believe this is exactly what Covid-19 is calling us to do—Surrender and Receive. Surrender need not be passive but can be highly productive.

Believe me, I had no idea at the time that a whole new body of work was living inside me. By slowing down and tuning in, I “downloaded” what would become my next book, Sacred Success.

The “downloads” came as I asked myself a series of questions. I’m happy to share them with you. The first question most people ask themselves, when facing uncertainty, is ‘what should I do?’ Actually, that’s the last question to pose.

The first question to ask  is: What do I need to let go of? Letting go, especially of what causes unhappiness or ceases to serve you, creates space for better to come. How do you know what needs to go? It’s probably that which you’re most afraid to release.

The next question to ask is: What do I want? This helped me get in touch with my deepest desires rather than the ‘shoulds’ and ‘ought’s” that I often gave into. I took a deep dive into my Soul’s wisdom by asking myself these 4 questions:

  • If I knew I had only 6 months to live, where would I be? Who would I be with?  What would I be doing?
  • If I died today, what would be left unlived?
  • If nothing changes, not one thing, what would my life look like in 5 years?
  • If I was on my death bed, how would I most want to be remembered?

The final question to ask is: “What should I do next?” Follow the advice of artist Vincent Van Gogh: “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint’, by all means paint and the voice will be silenced.” 

How are you using your time in quarantine?.  Leave me a comment below.


LogoCould you use some extra support during these crazy times? I’d love to mentor you in my 5-month ReWire Mentorship Program. Click here to learn more about this life-changing program.

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Losing Sleep Over Sinking Markets? Advice from a Wall Street Expert…and a Veteran of 2 Major Crashes—Me!

Last week, the market took the worst dive since 1987. Ahhhhh, yes, 1987.  I remember that October day quite well. Black Monday they called it.

I’d been in the market for about a year.  I knew nothing about investing, but I trusted my broker. However, when the market went into free-fall, I went into full blown panic. 

I called my broker, insisted he sell everything. He begged me not to, insisting the market will go back up…it always does.

I didn’t listen. If I’d stayed put, like he instructed, I’d be a lot richer today.

Yet it was a priceless lesson.Ten years later, in 1997, almost to the day, the market crashed again. Only this time I didn’t see disaster. I saw a sale. 

Fast forward to today. I’m not saying you should go on a buying spree. Though it is a sale. But I am imploring you not to sell everything in a panic. Investment decisions, based on emotions, rarely end well.

However,  if your nervous system can’t stand the heat, don’t rush out of the kitchen or do anything rash. Take advice from my favorite financial writer, Jason Zweig,

“If you feel you can calm yourself only by ditching some stocks,” he wrote in last Fridays Wall Street Journal, “sell a fixed amount each month for the next year.” By taking small steps, and automating them, you take the emotion out of the decision.

And if you’re going to sell, sell the losers, he advised. “That will turn some of your losses into cash—and a write-off on your taxes.”

Or, instead of selling, “You could direct your dividends into cash, rather than more shares, for now.”

To give you some perspective, take a look at this chart, sent to me via Therese R. Nicklas, CFP:

 

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I’d love to hear how you’re reacting to this crazy market? Buying? Selling? Waiting and watching? Or frozen in fear? Leave me a comment below.


LogoCould you use some extra support during these crazy times? I’d love to mentor you in my 5-month ReWire Mentorship Program. Click here to learn more about this life-changing program.

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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