Women & Money: 4 Habits for Mastering the Game

“I don’t need to make a lot of money – just enough to take care of my family.”

“There’s no need to negotiate – I accept your offer.”

“I don’t need to be greedy.”

These are common things women say about money and, from the perspective of running a business, can be very limiting.

Money is essential to business success. How women deal with it versus men is in large part due to our programming. More often than not, women are socialized to be nice, be seen and not heard, and to take care of others first. Fortunately, these views can be challenged. We do have a choice. Programming about money, and just about every other area of our lives, can be examined and reevaluated to conclude whether it’s working for us today.

To gain more control, expand your wealth, and build a successful business, here are four habits for mastering the money game:

1. Have Money Goals
Value judgment aside, money does make the world go around. The key to making your world go round the way you want it to is to know what you want money for. In addition to the basics, such as food, shelter and clothing, what else is important? Where do you live, why and where are you going tomorrow, 3 years from now and in retirement? What is important to you: family, education, travel, philanthropic pursuits, all of the above? By having the big picture in mind, you are in a much better position to earn and/or generate the money you want through traditional employment, self-employment or a combination of both.

2. Wealth is a Choice
Many of us were taught at a young age that wanting more money than you need is greedy. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be wealthy. If you consistently view wealth as evil, you will never be wealthy. In truth, wealth is a subjective term that varies from person to person. It can be viewed as money, love, friendship, objects, and so on. True wealth is about defining what you want, aiming for it and remaining in control of it versus it controlling you.

3. Spend it to Make it
Women also tend to be risk averse. Yet, in business, you have to spend money to make money. Fortunately, data indicates a continuing shift in this area with women-owned businesses growing five times the national average between 2007 and 2016. Recent years also reveal a 57 percent increase women-owned firms valued at $10 million and higher. The key here is embracing calculated risk. By having a solid grasp on the prior two habits, you’ll be in a much better position to make your money work for you.

4. Track and Celebrate Progress
There are numerous mobile applications to support effective personal and business money management. These tools are all about helping you to track actual savings and spending against your goals in real time to ensure success. Given the recent Equifax breach, they also serve to help you stay on top of what’s going on with your money to help prevent against fraud. Whatever you choose to use, use something and be sure to celebrate progress along the way.

We live at a time when it is no longer about mind over matter – it’s about mind creates matter. Be mindful about how you view money. Challenge outdated views that may no longer be working for you and replace them with ones that will. Once you do, always, always, celebrate success along the way.

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