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3 Simple Tools To Change Your Financial Reality

Career

Have you ever made 2-minute noodles? You know, the noodles that come in a pack that you add to boiling water with a packet of spices, and viola! In two minutes, dinner is served. Well, when I was in college, I ate a lot of 2-minute noodles. They were cheap. Rather than feeling sorry for myself because 2-minute noodles were on the menu yet again, I got creative. It became a challenge. How many new recipes involving these boring noodles could I come up with? How creative could I be? What would make this fun?


Years later, when I found myself $187,000 in debt, I used the same approach to my finances as I did with those noodles. Rather than seeing my situation as a problem, rather than focusing on debt, I started looking at it from the question of, “What else is possible here?” And, “How can I change this?”

Today, you can often hear me say, “No one should have a money problem – especially not you,” and “if you would like to turn your money situation around, know that it is possible.”

The following tools can be used to help transition your financial situation from tumultuous to a sigh of relief.

1

Ask Questions Continuously

People make statements about money continuously, but very few ask questions. If you desire something greater with your finances, ask questions continuously. Many of us were told not to talk about money when we were growing up. Many of us were told we asked too many questions and urged to stop. Questions are actually the beginning of change. They open the door to new possibilities.

Start to ask questions like, “What else is possible here?” Or, “How many revenue streams could I create?” And, “If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I choose?”

Consider sending out exciting mail to clients or prospects to grab their attention. Take a cue from fashion houses who often send elaborate invites to their guests. The idea here is to stand out and build anticipation for a great show. Often guests have so many shows to attend that they must choose some and forsake others. In order to pack the house, elaborate invites makes them stand out. Louis Vuitton is known for sending beautiful clutches with the invitation enclosed.

2

Ask Money to Show Up

What if you could ask for money, just because you know life might be more fun with it than without it? What if the purpose of your life is to have fun?

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Ask and you shall receive.” Most people don’t ask for money because they have so many beliefs about what it takes to have it, how hard you have to work for it, where it can and cannot come from, and more. These beliefs keep people from simply asking for money to show up.

Get clear on how much money it would take to live the way you want to every month and then ask, “What’s it going to take for this to show up?”

3

Acknowledge You

Are you waiting for others to acknowledge you so that you finally know what you have to offer is valuable? What if you were the one who recognizes you are valuable, no matter what anyone else thinks?

If you are going to change your money situation, you have to be willing to acknowledge you. When you do not acknowledge you, you diminish you. When you diminish you, you limit your creative abilities. A much easier way to go forward in life is to acknowledge what you have accomplished, to open your eyes to your greatness and not dismiss the things that you have created and changed.

There are three ways you can begin acknowledging you more effectively:

Acknowledge the value of you
Acknowledge what is easy for you to do
Acknowledge what you create

It might be difficult for you to see your value at first. Commit that you will do it anyway; no matter what. Get a notebook and write down what you are grateful for about you - add at least three different things every day.

The best way to change your financial reality is to simply start. Wherever you are. Whatever your current situation, just start. Ask questions. Acknowledge you and all that you have already accomplished. Never stop.

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4min read
Lifestyle

Going Makeupless To The Office May Be Costing You More Than Just Money

Women have come a long way in redefining beauty to be more inclusive of different body types, skin colors and hair styles, but society's beauty standards still remain as high as we have always known them to be. In the workplace, professionalism is directly linked to the appearance of both men and women, but for women, the expectations and requirements needed to fit the part are far stricter. Unlike men, there exists a direct correlation between beauty and respect that women are forced to acknowledge, and in turn comply with, in order to succeed.


Before stepping foot into the workforce, women who choose to opt out of conventional beauty and grooming regiments are immediately at a disadvantage. A recent Forbes article analyzing the attractiveness bias at work cited a comprehensive academic review for its study on the benefits attractive adults receive in the labor market. A summary of the review stated, "'Physically attractive individuals are more likely to be interviewed for jobs and hired, they are more likely to advance rapidly in their careers through frequent promotions, and they earn higher wages than unattractive individuals.'" With attractiveness and success so tightly woven together, women often find themselves adhering to beauty standards they don't agree with in order to secure their careers.

Complying with modern beauty standards may be what gets your foot in the door in the corporate world, but once you're in, you are expected to maintain your appearance or risk being perceived as unprofessional. While it may not seem like a big deal, this double standard has become a hurdle for businesswomen who are forced to fit this mold in order to earn respect that men receive regardless of their grooming habits. Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is all too familiar with conforming to the beauty culture in order to command respect, and has fought throughout the course of her entrepreneurial journey to override this gender bias.

As an internationally-recognized women's advocate, Elting has made it her mission to help women succeed on their own, but she admits that little progress can be made until women reclaim their power and change the narrative surrounding beauty and success. In 2016, sociologists Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner conducted a study on the positive association between physical attractiveness and income. Their results concluded that "attractive individuals earn roughly 20 percent more than people of average attractiveness," not including controlling for grooming. The data also proves that grooming accounts entirely for the attractiveness premium for women as opposed to only half for men. With empirical proof that financial success in directly linked to women's' appearance, Elting's desire to have women regain control and put an end to beauty standards in the workplace is necessary now more than ever.

Although the concepts of beauty and attractiveness are subjective, the consensus as to what is deemed beautiful, for women, is heavily dependent upon how much effort she makes towards looking her best. According to Elting, men do not need to strive to maintain their appearance in order to earn respect like women do, because while we appreciate a sharp-dressed man in an Armani suit who exudes power and influence, that same man can show up to at a casual office in a t-shirt and jeans and still be perceived in the same light, whereas women will not. "Men don't have to demonstrate that they're allowed to be in public the way women do. It's a running joke; show up to work without makeup, and everyone asks if you're sick or have insomnia," says Elting. The pressure to look our best in order to be treated better has also seeped into other areas of women's lives in which we sometimes feel pressured to make ourselves up in situations where it isn't required such as running out to the supermarket.

So, how do women begin the process of overriding this bias? Based on personal experience, Elting believes that women must step up and be forceful. With sexism so rampant in workplace, respect for women is sometimes hard to come across and even harder to earn. "I was frequently assumed to be my co-founder's secretary or assistant instead of the person who owned the other half of the company. And even in business meetings where everyone knew that, I would still be asked to be the one to take notes or get coffee," she recalls. In effort to change this dynamic, Elting was left to claim her authority through self-assertion and powering over her peers when her contributions were being ignored. What she was then faced with was the alternate stereotype of the bitchy executive. She admits that teetering between the caregiver role or the bitch boss on a power trip is frustrating and offensive that these are the two options businesswomen are left with.

Despite the challenges that come with standing your ground, women need to reclaim their power for themselves and each other. "I decided early on that I wanted to focus on being respected rather than being liked. As a boss, as a CEO, and in my personal life, I stuck my feet in the ground, said what I wanted to say, and demanded what I needed – to hell with what people think," said Elting. In order for women to opt out of ridiculous beauty standards, we have to own all the negative responses that come with it and let it make us stronger– and we don't have to do it alone. For men who support our fight, much can be achieved by pushing back and policing themselves and each other when women are being disrespected. It isn't about chivalry, but respecting women's right to advocate for ourselves and take up space.

For Elting, her hope is to see makeup and grooming standards become an optional choice each individual makes rather than a rule imposed on us as a form of control. While she states she would never tell anyone to stop wearing makeup or dressing in a way that makes them feel confident, the slumping shoulders of a woman resigned to being belittled looks far worse than going without under-eye concealer. Her advice to women is, "If you want to navigate beauty culture as an entrepreneur, the best thing you can be is strong in the face of it. It's exactly the thing they don't want you to do. That means not being afraid to be a bossy, bitchy, abrasive, difficult woman – because that's what a leader is."