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Barbara Stanny

Barbara Stanny, the leading authority on women and money—is on a mission—to revolutionize women’s relationship with money. As a bestselling author, sought after speaker, workshop facilitator, money & wealth coach, and coach trainer, Barbara teaches women to earn the money they deserve, build the wealth they desire, and step fully into their power!

A Note to Financial Advisors: 5 Powerful Insights Into How Women Think

Money can be a hard subject to talk about.

Honestly, who wants to sit around talking to a stranger about their annual income, their monthly expenses, where they want to invest, and then in the end write a big cheque with money you hope you see again?

I truly believe the best way for women to create wealth is by working with financial professionals. But, according to the Wall Street Journal, “fewer than one in five women currently has an advisor.”

Why? Because women can’t find anyone who understands them.

Advisors are talking to women just like they do men. Big mistake. True, money knows no gender. Women, however, are very different from men. Yet the financial world is based on the male model of communication.

Here are 5 powerful insights into how women think. By looking at these insights you can learn what to look for in your relationship with your financial advisor.

1) Women are all about relationships.  Women are ‘other’ oriented; men are transaction oriented. Women communicate to create relationships and make connections. Men communicate to obtain information, establish status, and show independence. These are 2 very different conversations. The message women want to hear: “I care about you. I understand you. I’m here to support you.” How can a financial advisor provide this for you? Ask lots of questions about your goals, dreams, time frames, lifestyle, opinions, your life in general. They should listen more than talk. Find out what you need, not what they think you need.

2) Women can be very emotional when it comes to money. But in the financial world, conversations about emotions are considered taboo, too touchy-feely, not part of the financial planning process.  Really big mistake. Your financial planner doesn’t need a degree in psychology, but they do need to invite you to discuss your fears, beliefs, and family’s attitudes toward money. Often by simply listening your issues, and addressing your qualms while explaining your options can be enough to get you past your emotional blocks.

3) Women want to be educated. Men like to learn through trial and error. Women like to be taught. In a study by Deloitte Touche,  90% of the women expected their financial advisor to educate them. They even rated service, advice, and education far ahead of performance. What’s one of the best ways to educate women? Seminars. Why?  According to an Emory University study, “the pleasure and reward centers of their brain light up if they can work towards their financial goals in a cooperative way with other women.”

4) Women define success differently than men. Men define success as being in control; women as how well they can help others. The financial media, and the industry itself, seem to believe that scary statistics, alarming statements, and worse case scenarios will actually motivate women. But clearly fear tactics haven’t worked.

Instead, look for a financial advisor who will talk to you about how investing allows you to experience the joys of philanthropy, the thrill of leaving a legacy, the satisfaction of helping people you loves and causes you’re passionate about.

5) Women clients tend to be more time consuming, especially at the beginning. Women expect more service, ask more questions.

In my 1st appointment with Eileen, my long time advisor, she told me: “My job is to see your needs are met. It’ll take time but I need to find about your goals and level of risk.” And she did. Then she gave me choices. “I see myself in partnership with you. Here are your choices. Let’s discuss each of them and figure out what is best for you.”

These are powerful insights that should help you to orient yourself around what is important to you when it comes to money. Instead of seeing the financial world as a man’s world, you can now reframe it around what you want and make the financial world your own. Keep these insights in mind when looking for your financial advisor and you’ll be sure to find the right fit for you!

**Edited for repurpose by Taylor Brown, Associate Editor of Goddess Connections’ publicationWomen Who Run It.

The Beginners Guide to Surrender in 6 Simple Steps

Surrender is NOT for sissies. Surrender, by definition, means relinquishing control…a frightening concept for us control freaks. Surrender drops you swiftly into a sea of uncertainty, at the mercy of your worst fears, producing serious doubts about ever being productive again. I’m speaking from experience here. But, despite the discomfort, I’m fast becoming a fan. Something happened when I stopped struggling to impose my will and surrendered to receiving guidance – financial success started to feel like a spiritual journey. Primitive cultures and Eastern Religions had rites and rituals to honor the ‘Time- Between’. They took their people out of the villages, into the wilderness, allowing them to connect with their spirit guides, reassess old ways of being, recognize their true purpose. But no one teaches us, or even encourages, this practice any more. So, for those of you wishing to take some time out in a rich and rewarding way, I bring you The Beginners Guide to Surrender (so named because it’s written by a total beginner…me!). There’s no need to leave your village, or even your job. Just follow these 6 simple (though not easy) steps. Step #1 – Eliminate everything but the most essential: I remember saying to my guy last winter, “I wish I could take the next month off!” “Why don’t you?” he responded. I gasped. Taking time off was unthinkable. Or was it? I decided to ease into it slowly, by saying ‘no’ to things that didn’t feed my soul, no matter how lucrative…or tempting. I said ‘no’ to speaking invitations, ‘no’ to networking opportunities, ‘no’ to new clients, ‘no’ to writing my newsletter and blog. If anyone asked, I was on sabbatical until further notice. I continued a little teaching and coaching, but only because I wanted to. As a result I was left with a lot of down-time…which, of course, is the whole point. But to many, down-time is a dirty word. And I know why: we’ll do anything to avoid the dreaded step two. Step #2 – Allow uncomfortable feelings to surface: Uncertainty, fear , self doubt–all those demons we’ve been artfully dodging through over-work, over-eating, over-spending and other drugs of choice—will inevitably rear their ugly heads. For me, my biggest fear was being invisible, disappearing, not mattering. I knew that was exactly what I had to face. Because, I knew very well, on the other side of fear is power. And, more than anything, I wanted to retrieve all the power I had given away in a myriad of ways. So, too, I yearned to retrieve all that creativity I felt I lost. To that end, I also knew that uncertainty, as anxiety producing as it was for me, is the natural beginning of all creative acts, a primal state of pure energy, a very fertile time. It’s been an emotional roller coaster, but I buckled in for the ride. As I wrote in Overcoming Underearning: “When you learn to face that which makes you fearful, it need never control you again.” I genuinely believe that! Step #3 – Reassess, reevaluate: The first question most people ask themselves, when facing uncertainty, is: what should I do? I’m here to tell you, that’s the LAST question to pose. The first questions should always be: What do I need to let go of? Where am I giving my power away? A big piece of surrender is letting go of what’s holding us back, reclaiming our power. How do you know what needs to go? Whatever you’re most afraid to release. For me, I was willing to let go of writing, speaking, my business in general, my identity in particular….I was willing to make space for whatever was to come next. I used the time to ask myself questions: What am I here to do? How do I want to live? Who do I desire to help? Where do I want to make a difference? I journaled, meditated, read A Course in Miracles, joined a mastermind group, processed my insights daily with friends. Self reflection became my major focus. Surrender means taking time to go within. It also means looking outward with new eyes. That’s what Step #4 is all about. Step #4 – Receive consciously: Receiving is an acquired skill most of us have never learned. I’ve come to see that Successful Surrender requires Conscious Receiving. And the first Rule of Conscious Receiving is: Give Up Judgment. In other words:
  • Everything that happens, ‘good’ and ‘bad’, is seen as a message or a gift.
  • There is no negative, there is no positive, there is only information.
  • Whatever occurs during Surrender is simply feedback about your future.
For example, during this period, I got an idea for a book, was all excited, and sent it my agent. He rejected it immediately. Normally, I’d be devastated…and, admittedly, I was for a bit. But I began looking for the gift, the message, the lesson. I figured it wasn’t time for the book but I’d be shown when it was. And if not the book, something else will surface. I continued to journal, meditate, self-reflect . Then, a few weeks ago, someone asked me when I was going to do another newsletter. Of course, I took it as a sign. As I wrote it, I felt compelled to blog. Who knows what’s next! Step #5 – Enjoy yourself: Surrender doesn’t need to be so serious. In fact, it shouldn’t be. I believe fun factors heavily in healing. I set an intention to include lots of play and pampering into my schedule, to be vigilant for opportunities to nourish myself. My boyfriend moved in, and what a joy he’s been. I have regular massages. I work out religiously at the gym. I visited my kids and my grandkids. I made plans to go to Sedona with friends. I’m always looking for a good laugh or a big hug, whatever lights me up. Step # 6 – Do what comes next: I’m convinced, as I follow these steps, opportunities -often disguised as coincidences – will arise. In fact, I’m counting on that fact. My job is just to do what’s next, grabbing whatever the Universe tosses my way. I’m still in the thick of surrender, but I swear, I see light at the end of the tunnel. I’m just not sure what I’ll find in that light. But I trust it will be glorious! Not necessarily glitzy or grandiose. But deeply satisfying and truly meaningful. Oh what a grand adventure life is!