Do you celebrate the money you earn? Or do you discount it by saying "that was lucky."
Women often have an unhealthy relationship with money. We are more inclined to feel stressed, uncomfortable and shameful when we discuss money. It’s time to feel proud, secure and in control.
How can women feel more financial strength in their professional and personal lives? Try these 5 steps to building more financial self-confidence and power.
1) Take time to understand how the money is earned in your business.
What services/products produce the greatest profit margin – and by profit margin I don’t mean “what brings in the most money.” I mean which service/product produces the most “take home income” for you!
Which scenario is a better financial success?
Scenario A: you sold $5,000 of Device A
Scenario B: you sold $900 of Device B
In scenario A, you can feel proud of the $5,000 revenue, however, let’s look more closely:
Device A sells for $100 but costs you $90 to make, distribute and market. You are only keeping $10 per device sold.
Device B sells for $30 but costs you $10 to make, distribute and market. You are keeping $20 per device sold.
50 of Device A x $100 => $5000 revenue…..but only $500 of profit (50 x $10)
30 of Device B x $30 => $900 revenue…but $600 of profit (30x $20) and you only had to sell 30 items
2) Acknowledge your strengths and look for partners to help you with the things that aren’t your strongest skill set.
If you recognize that creating and reading financial reports makes you feel inadequate, then find a partner that can help support you in this area. Asking for help from the right people is always an empowering move. For example, if you’re a big picture thinker then identify a method that will enable you to look at finances from a big picture rather than through a detailed lens. Have your trusted financial partner handle the details.
3) Start building for your financial future today!
Whether you’re in a startup or have been in business for years, you can start right now planning for your future. It’s the financial behaviors that create wealth. For example, even if you only have $20 you can choose to put $12 back into the business today, $7 to save for a larger initiative down the road and $2 towards your retirement savings. If you get in the habit of saving towards longer term goals you are more likely to build on that in the future and create wealth.
4) Cultivate relationships with like-minded people who offer helpful insights and encouragement towards your goal of financial success…and remember to pay it forward also.
For many years I have committed to working with a group of four women in a Masterminds group. We meet quarterly to set goals, hold one another accountable and help brainstorm solutions to challenges. One of my most memorable examples is when I was trying to figure out if I wanted to participate in purchasing a financial planning practice. My mind was swimming with pros and cons. My mastermind friend asked me the question that helped me take the leap. She was able to give me a new perspective on the risk and remind me of the value of seizing a potentially profitable opportunity rather than always just playing it safe. Another friend was able to help me find financing. It’s important to not only build a network but to remember to ask for support when you need it. Similarly I was able to help a fellow participant with time management strategies so she could focus on her career development. Sometimes what holds us back is not so obvious to us, but others can help us take a new approach. Think of a strategy that has helped you juggle all your responsibilities and pass it along to someone else.
5) Pay attention to the messages you’re telling yourself.
Money is an emotional topic for everyone, we must make a conscious effort to create positive messages about our earning potential and celebrate our successes so we can reinforce the intentions we have set. Instead of minimizing the money you’ve earned, take time to focus on it and acknowledge what you have accomplished. It’s not luck, but rather hard work and good decisions that lead to financial strength. When you work hard and make financially responsible decisions congratulate yourself and commit to doing it again. You have taken control of your finances!
Many studies report that women will be controlling more and more of the world’s assets into the future. I’m committed to educating women and guiding them to build their financial security. Join me on this journey as we lead the way for the next generation of women.
Rebecca L. Bar-Shain MBA, CFP® is a Financial Expert at Cedar Brook Group in Cleveland, Ohio.