5 years ago, I had started a new chapter of my life because of a relationship separation which resulted in my teenage daughter and I needing to find a place to live instantly with about $800 to live on. I had to rent a room in someone’s home until it was possible to get our own place which we did in a few months. I began looking for new work opportunities while I was attending college. During this period of time, I often went to a locally owned postal shipping place. It was the type that showcased local honey and a few crafts on shelves along with some custom-drawn greeting cards and framed photographs of the high desert. There was a huge brightly colored mural on one wall depicting a 50’s style convertible parked in front of a red and white checkered diner with a pin-up gal seated in the bright red front bench seat smiling for all she was worth. It was quite memorable so say the least!
While I was speaking with the owner one day, he said he was looking for someone to manage his social media on Facebook and a couple other places and post about items he had for sale and he’d pay about three hundred dollars a month. I was so unfamiliar with “social media for business” that I didn’t dare try it. What he was saying was pretty foreign to me.
In 2015, I discovered FEA, the Female Entrepreneurial Association, and began listening to Carrie Green’s videos and reading her blog and learning about the big confusing world of online business. I’ve been immersing myself in the Members Club for four years now as well as following other entrepreneurs and leaders and after 2 years of taking my employer’s business into the digital marketing space, learning to improve a website and promoting his Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, I can now say with some confidence that I’ve learned how to do this “social media marketing thing”. I still have plenty more to learn, of course, but I’ve come a long way too. Instead of feeling frustrated like I usually tend to do about not making more-progress-faster to get my goals in place online, I realized that I felt a sense of appreciation for the progress I’ve made, researching, finding resources and mentors and being where I am today.
So, as I celebrate my 5th year of this new online world that I’ve become a part of, I have a strong sense of appreciating my journey thus far and celebrating where I’ve traveled from. The proverbial “moment of truth” is nigh. I’ve been preparing, preparing, preparing, and I’ve been at the precipice’s edge for too long. It is time to jump and spread my wings.
Tony Robbins, intervention strategist, businessman and author, when discussing his book, “Money: Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom” said that when he was interviewing Warren Buffett for his book, he asked — “what are the secrets to your wealth? And he said it’s three things. No. 1, it’s being born in America. No. 2 is good genes, so I live long enough, and No. 3, is compound interest. Compound interest — people have no idea the power that it really has.” (USA Today, 2014)
This is exactly the point I was making in my article “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” People generally underestimate the power of compound interest and never get started! Remember, even if you’re saving less than you’d like, you ARE saving! And that’s better than putting it off and doing nothing.
Robbins also recounted a story about “Theodore Johnson, a UPS employee who never made more than $14,000 a year, but set aside 20% of every paycheck and put it into company stock. The man saw the value of his investments soar to more than $70 million by the time he was 90 years old.” A woman I personally know, who retired a millionaire, confided in me when I asked her about her success, that basically she’s “just been a good saver” as she put it. She always lived below her means, always saved, and only bought things she truly needed allowing her to save even more over her lifetime. The power of time and compounding interest did the rest.
The best advice I can give as a life/wellness coach echoes the words of these role models in finance. START NOW…however you can…make a commitment to set aside 5-10% of your paycheck in a long-term investment account. If you’ve already begun, but you’re not happy with how your investments are doing, have an independent investment advisor like Anthony J. Mancini Investments take a look for you (at no charge, just mention my name) and see what can be done to improve them.
Let me hear from you. If you’re a woman, are you already investing for your future like an empowered woman would? Tell me how. If you’re a man or woman, does investing intimidate you? What trips you up with creating a savings habit and being comfortable with an investing lifestyle? Answer at least one of the three questions in the comments. Look forward to hearing from you.
Hellmich, N. Tony Robbins’ 7 steps to financial freedom in retirement. USA Today. December 9, 2014. Accessed April 24, 2018. URL: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/12/09/tony-robbins-money-book/19278963/
It is my deep, hot, and holy conviction that the body of every woman is a living, breathing altar. – Mama Gena of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts
Take time for you, or time will take you – unknown
Women must set the standard for ourselves, with everything in our lives, and that includes the standard for our own self-care. Have you ever noticed how when things get crazy, the quickest thing to let go of is our self-care? We make sure everyone else in our world is good, but there is no time for us. Yet how will we keep filling other’s cups when ours is not getting filled?
Intellectually, it’s a no-brainer. Of course, we must fill our cup! Of course, we must care for our health! Etcetera, etcetera. But, in the moment, do we follow through on it? Or do we decide that……….eh…..it’s not really that critical…..I’ll be fine without a hot, Epsom salt bath……or……15 minutes of stretching isn’t going to make that much of a difference. We discount ourselves. We deprive ourselves. We depress ourselves.
As we journey from being a teenager to being an adult, we develop our self-care habits based on the influences in our lives. As we become more involved with life, and we become committed in long-term relationships, possibly having our own family, moving forward in higher education or career goals, we often become more focused on being present for others and less concerned with ourselves. However, if we allow that to become unbalanced as many women do, we completely lose ourselves, along with our inclination to invest in our own nutrition, sleep, exercise, alone time, hobby time, creativity, and general happiness.
There is nothing wrong with being as intentional about our self-care as we are about our family dinner schedule or the kids’ sports, martial arts or dance classes. I think it really boils down to self-esteem. How much do we esteem ourselves? In a healthy way, not an obsessive one. Are we worth it (as the old L’Oreal commercial would remind us)?
Mama Gena teaches and lives out the experiment of connecting to her spirituality as a daily practice. She has found having certain daily practices really helps her, and I thought it would be interesting to share what the first hour of her day looks like:
- I take a bath, instead of shower, because it makes me feel more relaxed and beautiful. I use eucalyptus-scented epsom salts because they smell nicer than the plain ones. After the bath, I use coconut oil on my skin; it smells beautiful and nourishes the skin deeply.
- I dance naked in my living room, to whatever song suits my mood, or helps me move my waking emotions through my body. Moving my emotions through my body is a way of honoring them, and honoring my design.
- I do a small gratitude ritual at my altar. I have a series of stones and small objects I have collected over the years. I light a candle, and pick up each of the 30 stones, one at a time, and whisper a gratitude for different aspects of my life, as I replace each stone.
- I write down my desires on post-its and place them in front of the altar.
- I prepare my breakfast (kale and eggs) and sit down at my dining room table with real china and real silverware. I do my best to eat slowly and with gratitude. Taking food into our bodies and using it to nourish us is a sacred act. It takes enormous effort on my part to not rush – and not to distract myself with electronics – especially when I am dining alone, which happens a lot in my current lifestyle.
- My next move is walking the dog, and as I do, I call a friend and do Spring Cleaning. (I explain the practice of spring cleaning in my first book, if you’re not familiar).
So, in the first hour of my day, I have dumped my charge, moved my body, honored my emotions, nourished myself, connected with my gratitude, and expressed my most deeply held desires.
Gena says this daily practice helps her “stay centered, grateful, and filled up with love and attention, so I can open myself to whatever the day brings with the thick padding of self-love in place.” She admits she doesn’t do it perfectly every day. I have found that when we have a goal of doing something regularly, and we do it for the most part, missing a day or shortening it one day won’t have a huge effect. And – this is the big important take-away – we are more equipped to handle what comes our way. We think that we will “save time” by not taking time for ourselves in the morning, yet the investment pays us back with higher productivity and better quality thinking throughout the day.
One last point – Your version of nurturing your body, mind and spirit will be different than Mama Gena’s. It should be different. It’s YOUR ritual. I love how Gena puts it, “the object, here, is that you choose to create a wide landing strip for your connection to your own divinity to inhabit your day, your life, your body.” How can you create a wide landing strip? So that no matter what happens in your day, you are prepared to begin it and enjoy the practice of feeling beautiful and beautifully cared for. If you already have a daily self-care practice in place, would you share up to three practices that make the most difference for you so that our younger ladies can get some practical ideas? Share your comments on my Facebook page.
Source: Adapted from http://www.mamagenas.com
Are you a woman? Are you a millennial? Are you in a minority? There are a number of reasons why thinking about financial independence is critical to success in your life. And, more importantly, to your well-being in life. Listen to this quick 14-minute talk from a Lacey Filipich, a woman who began saving and creating a passive income at 19, which allowed her to take mini-retirements when she needed them in her life, and who describes herself as “time-rich.” Listen for the tips she shares which you can begin to practice in your life.
If you would like to take your net worth and wealth building to the next level, partner with professionals. An accountant for your business finances. An attorney for your legal needs. And an investment advisor for growing your savings. I’ve been interested in investing since my early 20s. Since working with an investment advisor, I’ve learned that investing can be more secure that most people realize. In fact, there’s a great statistic that if you invested in the index since the beginning of the stock market, the average return would have been 7% – that’s including all the lows and financial disasters over 202 years! That’s an incredible track record!
(The Sales Pitch Paragraph) The advisors at Mancini Investments (founded by Anthony J. Mancini) will help you grow your net worth over time, safely and soundly. For a lot less than you think it costs. In fact, research shows that having a professional invest your money yields at least 3% more than when you do it yourself. Let’s talk. And answer your questions. And get you on the right track. http://www.manciniinvestments.com
Ladies, money management and the world of finance & investing may not always be the easiest to understand. However, it is critical for our well-being and the ability to have options later in our lives. Money is like a tool. Learn how to use it well.
Enjoy my latest blog for managing your money:
Life sometimes flows like a slow-moving lazy stream, more often than not, it can flow like a white-water-capped, whooshing, liquid herd o’ horses stampeding. We can’t control some things. Some things hit us blindsided. Some things build up till they reach a breaking point and make our lives crazy. Some things no one deserves.
But other things we can control. Such as how often we look up and appreciate a sunset or how often we awake early to catch the sunrise and greet the day. We CAN control staying in the present moment and making the best of “that” moment in time. We CAN control what we think about and we CAN be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
We CAN control our “hope meter” – a phrase I coined to describe our ratio of hope to cynicism to despair. Keeping our “hope meter” high makes room for the things we are hoping for in our lives and in the lives of others. Without it, we close ourselves off from the awareness we need to allow change to come into our lives.
Appreciate the little things – flowers blooming, a child’s smile in the checkout line at the grocery, having healthy food to eat, having choices, freedom from oppression, waking up in the morning and having one more day to make a difference in a few people’s lives.
According to Money Guru, this article reports the Top 10 Googled #Money Questions. And for women, these questions are VERY, VERY important. Women, oftentimes, #invest their energy and time into people, namely families, both their own as well as extended, children’s sports clubs, school activities, church activities and committees, all worthwhile activities, yet inhibiting their ability to earn income and save for their future security. Because of this, many #women find themselves in their 50s and 60s without options to move to a new location or purchase a newer automobile or even to afford medical or dental care. Some find that between living costs and paying for medical insurance premiums, co-pays and visits or medications that aren’t covered, there just isn’t anything left to save.
We MUST find a way. Our grandparents and great-grandparents re-used things and grew some of their own food, and lived simply in order to put money away. It was a way of life. We can too. I remember my grandmother telling me how they used to re-use the aluminum foil. If it was only slightly used, it would be wiped off, and then you would take the flat of your fingernails and iron out the foil, flattening any creases. Then it would be placed in a drawer for future use. Now I’m not suggesting that we recycle our aluminum foil necessarily. But we CAN have a frugal mindset and strive to live below our means in order to save and begin to make our money work for us instead of having to work for our money.
Educating ourselves about money management and investing is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. The #savings #habit is the key to growing wealth. Start now. Once you have $1000, find a good investment vehicle that will give you the highest return for the lowest or no risk. Rinse and repeat. And don’t be afraid to engage the services of an investment professional whose credentials require him to be a fiduciary, one who puts your interests first, like a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).
I tend to be pretty reliable keeping my commitments to others. In fact, I have been known to go above and beyond the ‘call of duty’ to be loyal to my word and not leave someone hanging. Key point to pick up on here, my dear reader, is ‘when it’s for someone else.’ When it’s for myself, I tend to reneg on my decisions more regularly than I’d like to admit. I am pleased to say I have improved at this over the years, so it happens less often these days, but the tendency is still there, lurking.
Which of these three things do you do in YOUR life? I hope this helps you realize that you’re not alone and that there is reason for optimism in changing these habit patterns.
The three sabotage strategies women tend to struggle with are:
- Committing to Everyone but Ourselves
- Chronically Undervaluing Ourselves
Let’s look at each of these one by one.
1) Committing to Everyone but Ourselves
Why does our loyalty extend to everyone else in our lives, but if I decide I need or want to do something, I’ll easily cancel out if I’m too tired or get distracted by other ‘things’ that come up. Why do I sometimes avoid doing tasks I need to do?
Here’s a new affirmation to focus on:
I am committed to myself.
Be committed to self. We are just as important as everyone else, no more, no less. Yet we will treat ourselves as less. It’s important to be my own best friend. Do the things I know I need to do for me. Treat myself with a reasonable level of importance. It’s okay to spend time on me. It’s okay to nurture myself. I don’t have to be giving to others all the time.
Spending all my energy on others just leaves me shortchanging myself, not being as effective as I could be in the world, which leads to discontent and creates a non-productive downward cycle. I need to reserve a portion of my energy to spend on ME, for me.
Many women are just too darn busy! We juggle multiple roles, each with their own list of priorities. Often these priorities don’t blend well or downright conflict with each other, adding to the complexity of it. I’m reminded of that old “Enjoli” perfume commercial in the 70’s where the jingle went something like “she can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never ever let you forget you’re a man, she’s a woooo-man, Enjoli.” The idea was that women could do it all….and we bought into that ideal and image, but also brought a lot of guilt and non-productive beliefs with us. We began to believe we needed to be perfect. We had to somehow juggle it all…..ourselves. We became martyrs in the effort to be devoted to our families. And if we fell short, the critical inner voice clocked in and we dutifully berated ourselves with self-criticism, put-downs and even became angry and impatient with ourselves.
We don’t HAVE to do it all. Our job is to manage it. Know what needs to be done, but find ways to delegate some of it. Can some errands be done monthly or twice a month instead of weekly? Is there any way to combine tasks which will save time? Not long ago, I found I was spending way too much time on errands and needed to limit how many times a week I did them. I began putting items on a list and limiting errands to only once or twice a week. If we went without certain things for a couple days, it wouldn’t be the end of the world! Now many people buy non-perishable and household items off the internet saving them time traveling to a store.
We can say NO…..we don’t have to fit in one more thing to an already full schedule.
3. Chronically Undervaluing Ourselves
The Leadership section of Forbes published an article by Kathy Caprino, a business consultant and writer of career and women’s issues. In it, she recounts in her consulting work how much she sees recurring patterns of women undermining and undervaluing themselves resulting in stalling their personal or career growth.
And these aren’t all women who were raised without opportunity or education working lower paying jobs. Caprino works with middle to senior level women administrators both in the corporate sector and in small business (Caprino, 2012). These are women who have experienced enough success to have excellent self-esteem and know their value. Why is it that no matter where we are in our life’s journey, we women still tend to undervalue ourselves?
As a small business owner, I see this with other women I know in business as well. We know we have gifts and useful products and services, but something gets lost between that acknowledgment and the process of actually doing business.
Learning to feel good about ourselves and our skill set is a daily practice, much like prayer or yoga. It can be helpful to research others in our industry and see what they offer, their price points, and what makes them unique. Use that information to position ourselves wisely. Once we’ve done that, it’s important to stop second-guessing and doubting. Remind yourself of your strengths with a daily gratitude practice and eagerly anticipate new prospects and loyal clients.
Is Mental Imagery Quackery or Science?
In all of my research and learning over the past years, I have heard it said that only human beings possess imagination. That when clinically observing animals, it appears that they function more from a built-in instinct, and don’t create art, music and other pursuits that are thought to be exclusive to human activity. Human beings have the ability to visualize so strongly that the nervous system responds just as if the imagery were actually happening.
American athletes such as women’s tennis pro Billie Jean King have been using peak performance techniques since the 50s and 60s. (Clarey, 2014.) European researchers at the Advanced Mental Training Institute in Russia have said that “the ordinary athlete realizes less than half of his/her potential unless the powers of the mind are used.” Well known golfing pro Jack Nicklaus echos this belief having been quoted as saying that the mental image was 50% of his golf game.
One only has to look at Russia and the USSR to see how effective this training is on Olympic athlete performance. At one point during the latter 20th century, they were thought by some to be unbeatable with their reputation for sweeping gold medals. During the 1980 Olympics, an experiment was done by the Russian team designed to measure how skill level was affected by different ratios of physical to mental training. Athletes were divided into four groups, each with a different percentage. The result was that the group that did the MOST mental training (75%) and the least physical training (25%) showed the greatest improvement in performance. (Korn, Sheikh, & Korn, 1994) Pretty amazing result!
Richard Suinn, a well-respected sports psychologist, studied skiers for many years and found that when athletes simply imagined the act of skiing, electrical signals are sent by the brain the same as when actually skiing. (Maese, 2016) Suinn has been working with Olympic athletes since 1972 and has promoted visualization protocols since then.
Peak performance and business trainers along with motivational speakers for over half a century have touted the importance of visualizing goals ahead of time in order to increase one’s ability to achieve them. Names like Tony Robbins, Earl Nightingale, Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Brian Tracy, and Zig Ziglar all talk about the importance of mental imagery, the act of rehearsing a successful desired outcome rather than a failed outcome through negative thinking or self-doubt.
So, since we are creative beings, we can harness the power of our imaginations in either a productive or a detrimental way. It just depends upon our focus. The Science and Education fields both report evidence that mental rehearsal or visualization of our desired outcome actually increases desired results. What results are you working on obtaining right now? Write out details of your desired outcome using all the senses, smell, touch, hearing, even taste and spend several minutes 2-3 times a day to focus on these details and vividly imagine. Comment below on your insights/experiences. I’d love to hear from you!
Clarey, C. (2014, 2 23). Olympians use imagery as mental training. Retrieved February 18 2017, from New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/sports/olympics/olympians-use-imagery-as-mental-training.html?_r=0
Korn, E. R., Sheikh, A., & Korn, E. (1994). Mental Imagery in Enhancing Performance: Theory and Exercises. New York, New York.
Maese, R. (2016, July 28). For Olympians, seeing (in their minds) is believing (it can happen). Retrieved February 18, 2017, from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/for-olympians-seeing-in-their-minds-is-believing-it-can-happen/2016/07/28/6966709c-532e-11e6-bbf5-957ad17b4385_story.html?utm_term=.0f8f219ba79f
Robson, P. (2011, June 20). Mirror Mirror in our Brains. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from Wishful Thinking Works: https://wishfulthinkingworks.com/tag/visualization-studies/