The Road to Riches is Often Paved with a Higher Purpose

Have you ever taken time to figure out your purpose in life? Maybe you should…if you’re trying to increase your income.

Road to higher purposeI’ve been interviewing women who make millions for a new a new book I’m writing. Like all high earners, these seven (and eight, nine, ten)-figure women clearly had a very strong profit motive. But what pushed them to even higher levels was not the money, per se, but this profound sense of a higher purpose. Making millions may have been the stated goal, but what deeply motivated these women was what they could to do with those millions to make the world a better place.

When I asked a successful financial advisor how she went from six figures to seven, her response reflected this common theme: “It happened when my mentality shifted to making a difference. You get to a point where you have more than you need, so you start thinking how you can help others.”

These women possessed a “fire in their belly” ignited by an almost a divine sense of mission, a transpersonal commitment to something larger than themselves . What struck me was how this combination of a lofty purpose with a clear profit motive created a really powerful alchemy. Here’s why:

1. Their strong sense of a higher purpose fueled their unwavering perseverance. As one told me: “Having a big vision creates the drive to something meaningful in a big way.” And another added: “I have such a deep sense of mission and purpose, that I go into full throttle, even in volunteer work.” Still another said, “When you’re on fire with a higher purpose, all you need to do is move through your self imposed blocks.”

2. Their strong sense of purpose bolstered their courage. Whenever they were scared, stymied, or facing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, they immediately went back to that purpose. “When in doubt, I revisit my mission. I know that’s why I’m here and I know I have to act.” said a multi-million dollar earner.

3. Balance and sanity are by-products of a strong sense of purpose. There’s a significant difference between drive and addiction. Addiction arises from feelings of inadequacy, pain, and fear, inevitably leading to burn out. Drive comes from a vision that nourishes one’s soul and enriches their life. As one young woman told me, “I had a massive inner critic and I’d push myself until I broke down.” Her solution: “I did lots of self improvement work and started to focus on achieving my purpose without killing myself.” The results: a significant increase in earning and decrease in stress.

To all those underearners who think there’s nobility in poverty, think again. As successful women have taught me, prosperity paves the way for generosity.

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Comments & Feedback

  • Katherine

    Interesting. But what if from the time that one was a child, you were raised to think of other peoples’ needs before your own? Do/did most of these women put their professional and personal needs ahead of others? Were they considered the “B” word by other women or need to behave like a man in order to achieve their success?

  • barbarastanny

    Great comment, Katherine. You give me a wonderful opportunity to step on my favorite soap box. Caring does NOT mean codependent. Women get so confused about this…except for the most successful one. As I’ve seen in all my interviews with high earners: they have learned to put themselves, NOT OTHERS, first.

    It’s what I call the message of the oxygen mask: you’re in no shape to take care of anyone else, unless you take care of yourself first.

    Does that make me, or any other woman, a Bitch (which, by the way, is defintely not a bad thing…have you seen my T-shirts that read: Embrace Your Bitch!)?

    I wonder: how many of you are taking offense at my comments? How many agree with me?

  • Liz Fuller

    Hi Barbara

    I’m so excited to hear that you are writing a new book – I can’t wait to read it. And I’m pleased to hear that these financially successful women see caring and giving back as critical to their success. I am going to have to remember – “prosperity paves the way to generosity” – too bad it’s a little long for a t-shirt!

    I also wanted to let you know that I have tagged you for a meme requesting that you share 7 facts about yourself. I hope you have fun with it – I did!

    Details are at my blog:

  • barbarastanny

    Thank you so much, Liz, not just for your enthusiastic post, but for the meme on your terrific website. I was so excited when I saw it…and so honored to be among the 7 women listed. Great site too…I want to encourage everyone to visit.

    And best of all…my whole team loves your idea for a T-shirt with “prosperity paves the way for generosity.” Brilliant!! We’re going to create them for the launch of my next book. Thanks so much!

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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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