In case you’d rather listen than read …
A few weeks ago, my charming, creative and adventurous online friend Roslyn Tanner Evans asked me to be part of a blog tour, explaining that she would pass the baton to me, as one of her three selected bloggers, and would answer a few questions about her blogging practices. I accepted. Then Roz, who is thriving in a new jewelry design business called Earth and Moon Design, wrote about how answering the four questions opened her eyes to revelations about herself.
The same thing happened to me.
Let me answer the questions and you’ll see what I mean.
What am I working on?
As a life-long entrepreneur, I’ve always believed in having what I call my “quilt” of activities. (Others call that “multiple streams of income.”)
My readers know me best as a Money Mentor, helping people (primarily women) take command and control of their finances in order to build a more secure financial future. But I also have an import/export consulting business and a large-scale international power-generation consulting practice.
The first one keeps my fingers in many pies as I guide companies – usually small ones – to be more competitive by helping them import or export products. The second one involves me in major projects in foreign countries. Sometimes they are petroleum-related, sometimes related to electricity, heavy-equipment investments … in short, projects that can take years to come to fruition. Both these activities have been the backbone of my career, spanning more than four decades.
Lastly, more recently I’ve given in to a playful, creative urge that has led me to launch a jewelry line that combines two worlds I love: I use agates that come from my home country of Brazil, where my father had mines. And I use Venetian glass that I discovered during the years I worked in Europe.
A full plate, right?
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Here let’s stick to the activity you know me for: money mentoring.
This activity grew out of a personal event that took place in my early fifties: I lost all my money, despite being a finance person who was good with numbers. (Details can be found in My Story.) As I rebuilt my life from scratch and sought to understand how that loss had happened, I realized I was not alone. Many women operate under all sorts of mixed messages, unclear understandings and a form of money blindness … mostly because of how they were raised around money.
Over the years, money has become the topic du jour. Today everyone offers money programs on mindset, on changing expectations, on spiritual alignment. Where my work differs is that it addresses the psychological messed-messaging, but then it gets down to brass tacks. Hard numbers. And here come my favorite expressions: “personal responsibility” and “self determination.”
I’m probably one of the most empathic cheerleaders you know, but I’m also a no-nonsense, no-holds-barred, let’s-get-you-in-charge-of-these-numbers mentor. I lovingly confront my readers with their reality, always giving them the steps to fix things. As I often say:
“Your life today is the accumulation of all your past decisions. The good news is that you can change it by making better decisions.”
Why do I write what I do?
For the past four years, I have been driven to share all my knowledge about money. Part of that drive comes from having watched my mother face financial uncertainty in her last years. The look on her face broke my heart. And part of that drive comes from knowing that virtually every woman has inside her the ability to take control of her finances – it’s not rocket science – but someone needs to show her that truth.
For four years I have tried to show my readers that truth.
How does my writing process work?
I have a lot of respect for people who talk about writing calendars and content management. I really do. But I don’t function that way. I stay connected to my “universe” of women readers (whether clients or not) through Facebook, the comments on my articles, emails I receive asking for guidance or calls for straight-out help. During the week, certain ideas stick in my brain. I see new patterns. New concerns.
And when it comes time to write, usually the night before publication, I pick one of the ideas, sit with it for a few minutes and maybe research a fact or two that supports my position. Then I allow the floodgates to open. I call them my “downloads.” Words flow out of my fingers and, an hour later, an article of 800-1,000 words is ready to record for the accompanying audio.
I’ve done this nearly 200 times. (191 to be exact.)
So why an “unusual” blog tour?
Because the bus stops here.
I’m done writing. I know how many women have made wonderful life changes as a result of my words. I also know how many read my words week-in-week-out, tell me how great my writing is and change nothing. I see some women buying into fantasy business solutions that are destined to fail and to leave them even worse off. I see the way the internet disseminates information with no filters of truth, yet some strange mantle of credibility. I see more “busy-ness” than “business.”
I don’t believe my words can do any more good right now. The 191 articles (plus two wonderful guest articles) will stay up for anyone to benefit.
But it is time for me to ride off into the sunset and reinvent how I share what I know. Instead of writing and mentoring, I’m going to dedicate that time to visiting offline universes. I’ll see if I can conjure up something that will reach more women and inspire them to make the changes needed for them to take care of themselves.
Meanwhile, I’ll see you on Facebook. I’ll click “like” and make my little comments. I’ll post pictures of wherever I roam. I might even put my jewelry designs online and tempt you with my beauties.
Know that you’ll be in my heart … and that I’ll be available for financial 9-1-1 calls. (As the eternal cheerleader, I’ll even hold on to my pom-poms.)
And I’ll be back when the time’s right for you … and for me.
As we say here in South Florida, hasta luego.
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.