Chellie Campbell is one of my secret weapons when it comes to earning more money. I’ve been getting her newsletter for about five years now and I always come away with new ideas.
Her concept is that there are three basic money types – sharks, tuna, and dolphins. You don’t want to be a shark because they just eat people alive and then run. They do make money, but they aren’t happy and people don’t like them much. You don’t want to be a tuna because they just do what the crowd does and never get much of anywhere. No one respects a tuna. Instead, you want to be a happy, playful dolphin who gets to play and have fun with the other dolphins. Dolphins are people who understand that there is plenty to go around and helping others is a great way for everyone to be successful. I like that philosophy.
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So, when I heard she had written a new book specifically about women’s attitudes about money, I asked her to send me a copy to review for my blog and she was happy to send me one. I dug into it right away and already my copy is covered in Post-it flags. I keep finding little tidbits of wisdom I want to remember and use.
One of her frequent themes is about why women don’t make as much money as men. The reason is that we are TOO NICE. Women don’t think it’s polite to ask for the money they are worth, and instead are content to settle for far less than a man would accept for the same work.
After 35 years in the business world, I think this is exactly true. I’ve seen so many women who will work themselves to the bone (I may be one of those women!) for a thank you and a ridiculously low salary, while I see men who do just enough to get by and are making boatloads of money.
And it isn’t just the money – we discount ourselves and the value we create with our talents by being insecure and believing anyone who happens to criticize us. Nearly every woman I know is her own worst critic. I know I am.
One thing that really hit home for me was when she talked about women who say they love their job so much, they would do it for free if they could. That was my AHA! moment because I do that ALL THE TIME. Yes, I get paid well enough at my regular job, but then I spend a good portion of my evenings and weekends doing various types of volunteer work with my Scouts and other charities. I am literally GIVING myself away by donating hundreds of hours of my most valuable and irreplacable resource – my time.
Next week I am actually scheduled to receive an award at work for my volunteer service. This is the third year in a row for me. I was so proud of it, but when they give me that huge oversized check, it won’t be made out to me. It will be a grant to the charity of my choice.
Now don’t get me wrong – it is a wonderful honor that I cherish and definitely something to be proud of, especially that I have a company that cares enough to reward it’s volunteers so thoughtfully. And I do really LOVE the work I do with my Scouts and the other volunteer activities I do. But how would my family have benefitted if I had instead used at least some of the that time and energy to grow my blog, or to run a home business, or even work a part-time job? That could have created thousands of dollars in extra money for retirement, college, pay off debt, take vacations, or any number of things that would have made life nicer for my family. Not to mention a few more dinners cooked, floors swept, and time spent with my family! And maybe a little bit of time relaxing just for myself.
So, why do I do it? Lots of reasons – like I said I DO enjoy working with our Scouts and I like working with the other adults and doing the different projects I do for my various groups. I do a lot of fundraising, and I sing in a terrific gospel choir. I help with the Youth group sometimes. I like the variety and I get to do some pretty cool things that help a lot of people, especially teens. I have a big soft spot in my heart for these kids.
I also like the sense of accomplishment when I finish a difficult task – I think it’s a bit of an adrenaline rush for me. And I worry that they might not find someone else to do it, or who would do it as well as I do. But I’m starting to wonder if I’m not just doing it for the warm fuzzies. I think maybe I have something of a Sally Fields complex. You remember when she gushed at the Oscars – “You LIKE me, you REALLY LIKE me!”
So, I’m taking a long hard look at my priorities and how to best structure my time. I’ve actually said no to a few things lately – that’s good progress for me. I’ll still be involved with my Scouts and my gospel choir and the things I really enjoy, but maybe I’ll be a little more choosy about taking on some of the bigger projects. And I’m probably not going to spend the extra time knitting or doing Netflix marathons – I’m way too ambitious for that (plus I get bored easily!). Instead I’m adding some new features to my blog and thinking about some new revenue streams. I’m adding some affiliate links and branching out into some new avenues to bring in more traffic. I’ve even been writing complaint letters for people on Fiverr as a little part-time gig. Obviously, I like to write and it’s another way to help people while making a few bucks.
I’ve decided making money is OK. It’s not unladylike to want to earn money for your family. We all have bills to pay and things we want and need. It does feel a little strange at first, but I’ve decided I’m going to be OK with it, and I think Chellie would definitely approve.
This book was just released in February, and was the #1 Hot New Release in Women in Business and #1 Hot New Release in Budgeting and Money Management and is still going strong. It’s filled with juicy stories and instructions on how to solve your love/hate relationship with money, make gold calls instead of cold calls, and live a rich and beautiful life, this is the book that swears nice girls CAN have the corner office!
So, if you are a woman – and most of my readers are women, I think you should check out Chellie and this book. You can sign up for her newsletter and learn more about her money strategies and the Financial Stress Reduction classes she offers at Chellie.com. Women have some funny attitudes about money and we need to start changing them. We need to stop competing against each other and instead give each other a hand up. We need to LIKE ourselves and not worry so much about whether other people like us or want to pay us what we are worth. There are so many other people out there who are perfectly happy to pay a fair price for our time.
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