When you do something over and over again, and if you’re paying attention, you often find commonalities and patterns. Coaching women through financial transitions has shown me a few such pattens. One pattern, however, is more pervasive than all of the rest and that’s the one that seems to drive us from deep in our core as women.
Financial education is important. I think we can all agree on that. Yet my experience of teaching this often taboo-ladened subject has suggested that financial education for women needs to quite different than financial education for men. And here’s why…
First, and foremost, money means different things to women than it does to men. In other words, when women think of money, it represents something completely different than it does to men. It’s like we (because I speak for myself as well) actually see a different thing when we look at a dollar bill.
Let’s explore what money represents to men first.
Men are what I call Providers and Protectors. As such, men see money as a way to provide and protect the ones they love and care about. Money is also a way for men to judge how they are doing as men; it’s a way of showing other men (and the ladies) that they have the bigger spear and can get the bigger deer and take care of the kids better than the next guy. It’s how they get the best gal to make the stronger family and in the end, survive. It’s a little about ego also as you might imagine.
Women are what I call Takercareofers and see money as a way to TAKE CARE OF the ones they love and care about. That’s slightly different than ‘providing for’ in this way. Men PROVIDE women with the money they need to TAKE CARE OF others. To buy the food, the clothes, pay for the education…stuff like that. When women have enough money to take care of themselves and others, they often do not have a drive to need any additional money.
More than anything else, to women, money is the ability to feel, and be, safe and secure.
The challenge for women happen when it comes to supporting themselves is that traditionally (from as far back as caveman and cavewoman times), men provided and protected and women took care of. Now, all of a sudden, things are different. Our hard-wired drive to take care of gets complicated and more difficult (stressful) because we now need to provide and protect as well. This is where the break down occurs.
Over the years, talking to the women I have coached, I have noticed that women don’t have the same internal drive to ‘make money’ like men do. They struggle, often asking themselves questions like, “Why do I have to get a job and work? I HAVE work to do at home that is fulfilling and satisfying.” Because they can’t see the question through the context of ‘where we came from’, the answer is allusive and ever present for many women.
But now that things HAVE changed and it does appear that we have to go to work for money, how do we adapt? How do we change our hard-wired takercareofer selves to see money as a means to take care of in a way that inspires us to make more than enough money than to just get by…to make more than enough money to support our immediate needs. How do we move beyond that to embracing the simple fact that things have changed and they’re not going to change back any time soon (even though many of us we wish they would)?
There are a couple of options.
First, you realize that you CAN have what you’re hard-wired for…you may just have to do it differently though. You have to be very specific when you choose a partner. You must agree, as a couple, that your ‘job’ is the home, the kids, the family. You must constantly work together as a couple to evaluate financial goals, spending, budgeting, wants vs. needs, and more. You must be willing to ‘sacrifice’ some things in order to have the grand thing…the ability to stay at home and do what your heart and soul is telling you they want to do.
Second, you can WORK for money from home! This is the best of both worlds. You get to make money to feel empowered in that way AND you get to stay home with your family.
There are many ways to work from home. You can…
• Find a regular job where your employer is OK with you working at home. The disadvantage to this option is that you’re not in control of your income potential and what you do.
• Create an internet business in a niche that you find interesting and have some expertise in. This is a great option if you are computer savvy (or not but have the ability to form a team), love to write, create products, want to learn to market other people’s products, etc.
• Create a business team by linking up with one of the many network marketing companies around today. But be careful…you must evaluate which company you choose to work with very thoroughly. There are tons of network companies popping up in today’s economy because network marketing DOES work, but these new little companies don’t have the research, don’t have the financial backing, the scientist, the funding, or the ability to go the distance.
(Personal Note: A company that I honestly and openly recommend, and am involved in, is NuSkin. They are a publicly traded company who’s been around for 25 years, have more scientists than most other companies combined and have the financial resources to not only stay on the cutting edge of the anti-aging technology, they are leading the way! For more info, watch this short video at www.ns-spa.com and then email me for more information if you’re as impressed as I am.)
• Create any other type of product or service business which you can do at home. There are literally an unlimited number of businesses you can do from home. Use your imagination. Look to see what others around you are buying. Notice where the money IS flowing and then get into the middle of the flow with a better product, a better service.
And here’s the last bit of info to motivate you…
You are NOT alone! Women are starting over 70% of all new small businesses. They are taking matters into their own hands and doing life differently. They know what they want and they’re going after it.
Just remember though, at any time,if your hard-wired drive to go home and take care of others kicks in in a way that isn’t supportive, simply ask yourself, “How can I reframe (see differently) what I’m experiencing to see what I’m doing as taking care of others in some way?”
Once you do this, you’re off and running again. As they say, You Go Girl!