When my father encouraged me to study finance in college (because it seemingly offered the best return on investment), I had no idea how far that path would take me.
While I didn’t end up working behind a trading desk or managing portfolios, my career as a financial journalist and now speaker, author, and podcast host provides me with the most incredible experiences and relationships.
Along the way I’ve discovered several unshakable facts and words of wisdom that have helped carry me through my life with financial success.
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You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate
I live by these words each time I strive to earn and save more. A story I often share is the one about doubling my salary when changing jobs back in 2006. I was up for the senior video correspondent role at TheStreet.com.
At the time, I was earning around $45,000 at my TV news job as a producer and sometimes-on-camera reporter. And, crazy as it sounds, I asked to more than double my salary with the new gig. I asked for $100,000.
My manager offered $85,000 (which would have been an incredible raise!). But I replied, “How about we agree to $90,000 right now and I don’t bother you in six months?” Next thing I heard? “We’ve got a deal. Welcome to TheStreet!”
Nobody cares more about your money than you
Not your financial planner. Not even your family. And it’s not because the world is against you. It’s not because they’re out to get you. It’s for the simple fact that money is personal. The depth of pain and excitement around your money is yours and yours only. The difference between making money and losing it is in your hands, which is pretty empowering.
This is a major financial philosophy of mine. It encourages me to speak up, ask questions, negotiate, and take responsible steps to protect and grow my hard-earned money.
Ask questions. Even the dumb ones
I learned from life and business strategist Tony Robbins a vital key to success: staying curious. Embrace the fact that you don’t know everything and always seek answers, he told me.
Even as I surround myself with talented, smarter individuals who help me with decisions related to my investments, taxes, and real estate, I never trust they have all the right answers. In fact, their ability to give me sound advice depends on me constantly asking “Why is this like that?”, “How come we can’t do this?” and “Can we save more money somehow?”
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Take care of the boring stuff first
My husband and I make sure that with every paycheck we address our basic obligations first. That stuff isn’t really fun or sexy, but without covering those bases we couldn’t go on to spend on or wants freely.
In fact, by taking care of our retirement, rainy day savings, college fund, insurance and bills at the top of the month, we know that whatever money is left in our accounts afterwards is more or less our “fun” money and we are free — with peace of mind — to spend it accordingly!
Do what matters to you. Outsource the rest
“It is almost impossible to find anyone who has made millions of dollars who doesn’t delegate at least a handful of time-consuming things.” It’s no surprise that Tim Ferriss, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Four Hour Workweek shared this with me on my show.
I’ve always been a proponent of outsourcing tasks like laundry and toilet bowl cleaning. But Tim really put it all in a new perspective for me.
In order to be financially successful you must stay focused and spend both time and money meaningfully. I dedicate a whole chapter to outsourcing in my latest book, When She Makes More because, crazy as it sounds, higher earning women do more housework than women earning as much or less than their spouses.
The world needs more top-earning women
I never really thought of myself as someone who was ‘destined’ to be wealthy or even worthy of being super rich. But why the heck not? As a woman I now see it as my responsibility to earn as much as I can and be a financial leader — not just in how I manage my money but how I earn it, as well.
The world needs more female financial leaders. Period. And the more women get on board this crusade, the better a world we shall have.
As Barbara Stanny, a bestselling author, friend, and financial mentor told me on my podcast, “For women, financial success is a spiritual journey … a rite of passage into our power.” She went on to share that women exercise power by building relationships — as opposed to gaining power over people and things. “The real goal is to help others,” she says.
And that was a true lightbulb moment for me. Whereas before I saw limits to my wealth because more money wasn’t what was going to make me happy, I now view it as limitless. I now see making more money as my duty and my part in helping others who have less and inspiring others to do the same.
There’s no such thing as job security
… says the girl who got laid off in 2009. The best job security is working for yourself. But it’s not to say that it’s easier to succeed as an entrepreneur than an employee. Because you’re only accountable to yourself, it’s easy to get complacent. You need to remain curious and motivated as your own boss.
That’s how I somehow wrote multiple books, hosted TV shows, started a podcast, and launched a private coaching business. I’m always looking for ways to grow. And when things start to get too easy, that’s when I know you need to start experimenting again, get uncomfortable and take new risks. It’s the best way to ensure you stay gainfully employed.
You don’t need to be wealthy to invest, but you need to invest to be wealthy
Compound interest is mathematical magic. Albert Einstein called it the eight wonder of the world for good reason. Use it or lose it.
Investing is something my guests on So Money often tell me they wish they’d known more about growing up. They wish they’d started investing sooner and didn’t buy into the mentality that you need lots of money to invest. You can start small. Even with the volatile swings in the market, investing when you’re young and for the long haul is more fruitful than letting it sit in a plain vanilla savings account.
If you build it, they will come
Nobody wanted to produce my little show about interviewing famous and accomplished people about money. So, I bought a microphone, signed up for Skype, and launched So Money from my Brooklyn apartment.
Since launching nine months ago, the show’s surpassed one million downloads. It’s been awarded the top financial podcast of 2015. It’s been called a ‘top podcast to grow your business’ by Inc Magazine. It’s been featured in numerous publications from Money to Forbes.
And most recently I’ve partnered with AdLarge, the fastest-growing independent audio ad sales rep in the country for network radio, digital, and mobile content providers. The show is finally on its way to being profitable.
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