Personal Responsibility: Real Women Make Real Money

Personal Responsibility: Real Women Make Real Money

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Audio Personal Responsibility: Real Women

Sarah walks into the house and throws her keys down on the table near the door.  Coming home feels so gratifying after a productive day in her new leased space, now that she’s outgrown working her start-up business in the little home office off the kitchen.

The mail she picked up on the way in is in her hand.  Before anything else, she walks in and puts it in the empty “In Box” on the desk.  No anxiety, she’ll take care of any bills on Friday, when she always pays in full whatever’s come in during the week.

What a joy to know she’s not carrying any debt and that any money she’s spending is well within the comfortable spending plan she set up with her bookkeeper.

What a difference from when she used to feel her stomach knot up as she pulled any envelopes out of the mailbox, dreading what bad news they might carry.  And knowing the balances on the credit card statements were so high that she could barely cover the minimum payments.  That was when she was on auto-pilot.  That was before she was shaken to her core and forced to take responsibility for her future and for the actions needed to get there.  That was “before the crisis.”

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The same financial crisis of 2008 that wreaked havoc with so many people’s lives also brought a Plan B into the lives of many others.  Many who were stuck in unfulfilling jobs were dumped unceremoniously by their employers.  Others who actually liked what they did watched as beloved employers closed the companies’ doors.  Still others whose spouses took pay cuts had to find a way to chip in.

As people scurried to find new sources of income in a slow economy, a new wave of entrepreneurialism was born.

The traditional world of self help was shaken.  Row upon row of books in bookstores—that had assumed we were somehow “broken” and needed fixing—were unable to fix what had befallen the economy.  No longer would it help to read the rules of “how to succeed” in a world designed and distorted by others, a world we never thought to question or defy.  No longer was our only option to change who we were in order to fit the paradigm; the old paradigm was fading.

In its place was an opportunity to reinvent ourselves—and our world—where we might finally define who we really are and find a way to live more on our own terms.

But along with this opportunity came the need for keen self assessment.  For massive personal responsibility.  And for relentless self rule.

Winners and Losers

It’s been five years since our world was shaken by the tsunami of Wall Street and Washington.  We can already see clear winners and losers.

The winners are the fat cats of Wall Street who manipulated the flow of funding in order to salvage and then fill their coffers.  The winners are the lobbyists, consultants and public servants in Washington who have somehow inflated their incomes to where Washington average salaries far outstrip the average salaries of the American public who they supposedly serve.

And the winners are women like Sarah who carefully assessed their skills and figured out how to build a business around them.  Who took massive personal responsibility, sacrificing whatever didn’t move the business forward, for the good of their families and themselves.  Who applied relentless self rule to get clear about their personal and business finances in order to build a healthy company.

Personal Responsibility:  Steps to Become a Winner

Maybe you’re not one of the Wall Street or Washington winners.  Maybe you tried Plan B instead, but are not yet where Sarah is.  If so, I know that deep down you know why.

Here are three questions I overheard Dr. Phil mention as part of one of his programs recently.  I know they will help you unearth what’s keeping you from succeeding at whatever you have set as your business goal.

Write down your answers to these questions.  Then keep adding to them over the course of the next few days.  Be honest.  Be bold.  Be real.

  1. What is it that you are doing that is working?
  2. What do you have to stop doing that is keeping you from reaching your goals?
  3. What do you have to start doing that you’ve been avoiding, but that you know will empower you to reach your goals?

The end of the calendar year is approaching.  Look at what’s happened so far this year as a life lesson of what to do, what not to do and what to improve upon.

Then, regardless where you are on your path towards your goals, answer those three questions and be ready to make the coming year the one where your personal responsibility finally pays off in spades.

Let us know in the Comments section below one thing that you’re particularly proud of that you’ve achieved in the past year.

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Bio: Sharon O’Day fixes financial lives. She is a tell-it-like-it-is money expert with a successful career in global finance, plus an MBA from the Wharton School. Today she specializes in getting entrepreneurial women over 50 back on their game so they can have more money, less stress and more joy. With her “Over Fifty and Financially Free” strategies, they take actions that lead to their ultimate goal: financial peace of mind.

  • Money coach Marc

    Love this post Sharon! Great insight as always.

    • Thanks, Marc, hope you’ll share it with those you mentor. It felt like time for a gentle nudge … and my “you can run but you cannot hide” mode snuck into my writing! 😉

  • Susan Schiller

    Hi Sharon … I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon… I’ve copied and pasted the 3 questions into an email to myself so that I’ll not forget! Thanks so much for the gentle nudges so that we can be brave and resist hiding!

    • Sue, what becomes more and more clear to me is that we each have the information we need to design and live our lives as we dream. But we may not have the will. We don’t need more information. We just need the personal honesty to tap into the knowledge we have … and take the requisite actions! I know you’ve proven that to yourself, again and again. And think of how empowering that is!

  • Susan Schiller

    Sharon, I appreciate you and your wisdom so much. The women I’m around and try to help support, like me, have been “brain damaged” by long-term relationships with pathological persons.

    We have the will – we are typically very strong women… we are survivors of an insidious evil that scientists have now proven is brain-damaging. It’s hard to describe, but there is a neuroscientist, Dr. Rhonda Freeman, who I recorded on my blog: http://teamfamilyonline.com/neuroscience-pathological-love-relationships/ – who explains this phenomenon so much better than I.

    I’m wondering, if at some point in time, you might address the reinvention stage for women who have been shattered, not just battered… In many cases these women were high income earners (6-figures and better) but due to the brain damage they have had to step down from successful careers and businesses. It’s beyond psychological – in order words, counseling only goes so far… because our frontal lobes are in tatters.

    You know I’m working so very hard to retrain my mind, to make new connections, to think in a whole different way. It’s required a lot of deconstruction and this process normally takes many years. I guess… what I’m really trying to pinpoint, or draw from you, is do you have any advice, any stories, any wisdom that might be specifically relative to women whose lives have been absolutely shattered – not just by normal stress and drastic environmental change, but by close, intimate forces that have damaged their brains as well as taken their finances and assets and destroyed their lives in every way possible?

    I know of many such women… we learn to live life more simply. God always causes good to come out of even the darkest of situations. But Sharon, my deepest heart’s desire is to see them THRIVE – in other words, to see not just restoration, but double the blessing that they would have/could have/should have been in life. I might not be making sense – you can delete this comment, or answer it privately, if you wish… I think maybe you know what I mean, even if I can’t express it properly?

    • You have expressed your desire perfectly, Sue. I know your story and your incredible work. I also think you know I’m available to help women find financial stability and peace of mind in any way I can … when I feel competent to do so. However, what you describe is beyond my expertise. For me to offer to go beyond my competence would be the ultimate betrayal … of the last people who can afford more betrayal. If I’m wrong and you can think of how I can assist, you know I’m open to that conversation … and you have my email address.

  • Personal responsibility is HUGE we must take personal responsibility for everything in LIFE not just our finances

    • You’re right, Carly, such responsibility crosses all aspects of our lives …

  • Tina Ashburn

    This is a wonderful, upbeat, informative and inspirational post. About 7 years ago I made huge changes in my life that are now beginning to pay dividends (in all ways). Every day I wake up to a new day of adventure, not knowing exactly what the day will bring but knowing every person I touch (figuratively) brings something to the table that I didn’t have before. Congratulations to all of us who are now in control of our lives.

    • Thanks for sharing your journey, Tina. There are times when we choose to go down a certain path … often resulting in such huge changes … and only later know what all the implications might be. Worthwhile, isn’t it? 😉

  • fredmcmurray

    Awesome post. Shared to the Linked Local Network Facebook page

    • Thanks for sharing it forward, Fred … and for helping me spread the word!

  • Veronica Solomon

    I absolutely love this article, because it spoke directly to me. I am on the path to my Plan B like Sarah….not quite there yet, but those 3 questions are definitely thought provoking for me. I have accomplished alot this past year….closing the doors to a location that wasn’t working for my business and opening the door to a new one.t give didn’t give up, I didn’t pity myself for what others might look at as failure. I brushed myself off and got right back on the horse. Because I know my purpose…..no doubt about it! I My hope and prayer is I’ll be like Sarah in no time 🙂

    • I have no doubt, Veronica! When we know our journey, a fall is just that: a fall. Not a failure. I’ve taken so many that my shins are marked permanently. 😉 I look forward to watching your progress!

      • Veronica Solomon

        Thank you!

  • Roz

    Awesome. Although my personal finances are solid, I know I need to assess how and where I spent money in my business. 2014 is my year to focus on doing things to make money, not just because they are fun activities. It is a mindset and one I must shift into. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    • Roz, it’s fascinating to watch you shift from phase to phase as you take greater and greater control of your business. So seamlessly, but at just the right time. When YOU are ready … 😉

  • MeliLovesCards

    Thank you so much for the excellent and informative post. I really appreciated that you offered the audio. There are times when it’s so much easier@@

    • Glad you enjoy the audios, Meli … I know there are times when it just feels good to stop and let someone else carry the action. 😉

      • MeliLovesCards

        Couldn’t agree more Sharon!

  • Scott Glaze

    Great questions to think about, man or woman!

    • Thanks, Scott. You’re right, when it comes to our finances and our businesses, they truly are genderless! 😉

  • Glad to see Disqus is working again, Sharon!

    I have copied the three questions in my diary for further pondering. They and your gentle push for being honest, bold and real will go on top of each month, each time I open my diary it will look at me and ask me for a daily assessment.

    I have been cutting off some bad deals this year, a life insurance fund that really sucks, a paid subscription for some tool I did not use. If I were more disciplined I’d put the saved money in a separate account … but the hummingbird says it wants a holiday! 😉

    • Those simple questions seem to cut through all the BS I’m capable of throwing at myself, Barbara. (They don’t leave much room to hide.) Looks like several people see them the same way. Hope they help, Ms. Hummingbird …

  • I had to go back and start taking responsibility for my past actions. I am now working on my budget and getting my financial life back together again. I was like an ostrich, I’ve had my head buried in the sand for tooooo long.
    Thank you for this beautiful post and remind that we can take control of our own lives.

    • The best thing to do when we start taking our finances back under control is to throw away all the guilt we might be carrying from any past actions. It serves no purpose. That way, we’ve cleared the slate to be as effective as we can be. In fact, patting ourselves on the back for changing our ways doesn’t hurt a bit! 😉

  • Love your questions Sharon. They really help to prioritise where I am going wrong and what I am doing right. As I was thinking about these another quote from Joyce Meyer popped into my mind “I’m not where I want to be, but at least I’m not where I used to be!” That sums up my finances at the moment!

    • Love the Joyce Meyer quote, Carolyn! Nothing wrong with congratulating ourselves for what we HAVE achieved. As for what’s left to achieve? One step at a time, taken kindly and gently, will get us there! 😉 (And those three questions won’t hurt …)

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