As a coach who teaches high-achieving women how to convert their expertise into high-end coaching and consulting program I wanted to share an observation. Frequently the women who say that they want to “change the world,” or be “transformational leaders” are often the most resistant to the topic of money.
I think that deep down many women carry a secret suspicion of money and the people who have it.
Consequently they tend to value “being liked” at the expense of creating profitable businesses that could not only benefit them and their immediate families but also their wider communities. They also tend to dream VERY small and then procrastinate. They then become jealous of the women who are taking action to live their lives on a larger scale. The women who are jet setting in Europe, living in mini-mansions or taking the summer off to spend “on the lake” have decided not to settle.
Like many of you I came from a middle class background. My mother was a homemaker and my father had a “good,” secure job. He worked 40 hour a week and took 2 weeks vacation each year. I however always wanted more. I wanted to travel the world and live differently. Living in NYC meant that I had the opportunity to experience higher levels of wealth just by jumping on the subway. I went into posh stores and saw that they were much different than Macys or even Bloomingdales.
I remember in my late teens going to Tourneau Corner in Manhattan and trying on a Patek Philipe watch– I think that it was about $25,000. It was a beautiful watch, the store was well appointed and the service that I received from the salesman was impeccable
Living your best life isn’t necessarily about “things” but it’s about your ability to access whatever will help you to express yourself. Many women will immediately ask, “Who needs a $25,000 watch?” To which, I answer, “No one “needs” more than basic shelter, some food and one change of clothes….but who wants to live like that?”
As I’ve allowed myself to experience more of the world, I’ve had fantastic times in 5 star hotels and in extremely modest accommodations. I’ve eaten fantastic meals in marquee restaurants and in local dives. It was about having choice. What was right for me in a given situation or point in time.
I’ve continued to frequent places based on what interests me and what I desire. It has raised the bar for my expectations and that’s not a bad thing. As a coach, I’m increasing providing my clients with exercises that will get them comfortable engaging beyond their current “normal.”
Also as a woman of color, I traveled throughout the US, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe I’ve had more “bad” experiences in downmarket establishments. I’ve only had one bad situation in a high-end restaurant, years ago (frankly I think my date made a mountain out of a mole hill).
It seems that it’s easier for poor people and affluent people to attain great success than it is for middle class people.
I came to this conclusion from what I saw years ago as an entertainment attorney to now as a business coach. The poor are hungry, sometimes, literally and will hustle to change their circumstances. The affluent have a peek into the lives of the wealthy and have less resistance about moving on up. The middle class however tends to stay stuck. They’re always looking to be comfortable. The result is they’re less willing to take the risks financially or emotionally. This means that they’ll stay in a situation that they don’t like (job, friendship, marriage) rather than step out into the unknown for something different. To be a successful entrepreneur means that you’ve got to be willing to be uncomfortable, do new things and yes take calculated risks.
So is your own comfortable-seeking middle class mentality holding you back from living a more expansive life and being more successful?
Middle class people are risk averse and are overly concerned with safety. The result is that their fear of failure paralyzing them from taking new actions. There’s also a lot of guilt around money—having too little or too much, when money is just a neutral tool…it has no more power than you give to it.
Many of my mentors are men. Aside from the power tripping that men can get into, they’re very clear that money solves problems. One said, “If you’re concerned about the rain forest have enough money to buy some acres, that’s more useful than carrying a placard.” Another said, “Money can’t buy you love or health, but it can make attaining and keeping them far easier.”
There’s a lot of truth in these statements, especially the former. If you want to build a state of the art school in the Appalachia, if you have money you can do it. If you want to send your brilliant but broke nephew to college, you can do it if you have money. If you want to professional kitchen to make organic jam, you need money to do that.
When you have extra money and aren’t worrying about where your next client is coming from you can actually do the work to help people in your family, community or even the greater world. What would you life truly look and feel like if you stopped being scared and “comfortable” and build the business and income that you really want?
Either you’re growing or dying. There’s no standing still. What desire(s) are you ignoring because they’re bigger and bolder than you think is reasonable?
BTW, they’re not.
If you know that you don’t need another marketing program, but instead need personalized support we should talk. I work with my clients to develop simple but effective marketing strategies and teach them strategies to feel more comfortable receiving more for their services. Click here to: Apply for a complimentary Discovery Session