OK girls! It’s time to get rich and start talking about it!
Recently I read a newspaper article about a well-known TV personality who seemed proud to declare that she had only made $9000 last year. The article pointed out that this woman had a partner who was supporting her but the underlying message seemed to be that it was fine for her to earn very little money. And that being financially dependent was OK.
Well, it’s 2007 – and no, it’s not OK. It is far preferable for all women to be in charge of their financial destiny or, if for a very good reason they are not able to earn an income, at least be in joint control of the income.
When I was chief executive of the direct selling organisation Pola, I had first-hand experience of women needing to earn income or additional income for all sorts of reasons but generally the income went towards basics such as clothing and educating their children. Some of the financial challenges these women faced were daunting and inspired me not only to develop a personal investment strategy but to encourage all women to develop financial and investment strategies for success.
Here are my first two rules for financial freedom:
1: Earn a big income! Men are great at this. They seem to find it easy to ask for money, either in their jobs, as consultants or through their businesses. Time is money when it comes to income and although there are many reasons one works, such as satisfaction, stimulation and self-esteem, it seems to me that all combine well and certainly do not detract from an excellent income.
Yet many women hesitate to demand what they are worth and, as women, are tempted to expect less in terms of financial reward if they are passionate about what they do. I make this assertion from hearing women repeatedly say to me: “I don’t really work for the money … I work for satisfaction.”
Great, but let’s get rich at the same time. And by rich, I mean having financial freedom to choose what work we do and how and when we do it, and having the freedom to choose an emotional partner based on choice rather than need.
2: Leverage is the key to earning as much as you can. Leverage means your income is not directly tied to the hours you put in because hours have an upward limit. Having your own business gives you leverage as does investing your money, having a sales team or writing a book.
Leverage means a partner working beside you. A partner can be the bank, your own money or the tax office. (If you are gearing an investment property, have you ever considered that the taxman is your friend in building wealth?) To get leverage we need cash flow so we need to earn and save as much as we can. That way we can invest in, purchase, or even start a business.