Use Your Past to Propel You Forward!

Use Your Past to Propel You Forward!

I believe we all have special gifts. We are here to fulfill our purpose, and regardless of where we come from,  we can accomplish great things in our lives.

I remember being asked to do a seminar for the Federal Reserve’s Money Smart Week many years ago called, “Smart Women Finish Rich.”  When I got up to speak, I looked out at 170 women known as the “Unbanked” (meaning they did not have a bank account), and I  wondered, How in the world will I ever reach these women?

From my introduction, they knew I was a successful financial advisor living on a lake in the suburbs.  How could they relate to me, or me to them?

It was then that I decided to tell my personal story for the first time.  I had never publicly shared this story, because I was embarrassed of it.  I looked around the conference center and saw my co-workers and the prominent attorney who invited me to speak in the back of the room.  I was scared to death, but I stepped through my fear shared this story …

My parents very poor when I was born. My father decided to reenlist in the Army to make ends meet. When I was just 6 years old, my father died in an accident, leaving my mother with three children under six. She was just 32.

Although my mother had used the military insurance to pay cash for a house, plus she received some income from the military and Social Security, she wanted a man to take care of her and her three children.

She found one at our church, but he was a monster. After nine years of living hell, she ended up homeless with breast cancer. You would think that I would have learned from that experience, but we often go back to the familiar. Guess what?  I ended up marrying my own monster.

Thank God, I was very strong, and through a series of synchronistic events, I was able to get out of that marriage within a year. It was a very challenging experience, but a good lesson that would help prepare me for my life’s purpose.

So how did I get from where I was then to where I am today?

At 20 years of age, I found a book called, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. I learned that “thoughts are things, that I could create any life I could imagine if I just had a vision, didn’t lose focus, and did whatever it took to succeed.”

Next, I found a mentor. I took classes, stepped out of my comfort zone again and again. Becoming a Certified Financial Advisor was a game-changer for me. I also met my husband of 30 years, we had children and together and created an amazing life. It wasn’t always easy. We made mistakes, but we learned from those mistakes. They were our greatest teachers.

What I know today is that everything that happened to me was perfect. I have no regrets.

Embrace your roots, your experiences, your lessons, and use them to propel you forward. And most of all, do whatever it takes to get smart about money so you can make a difference and live a life you love.

You may have to get uncomfortable, but with the right information and support, you can do it too! Get that support from our Smart Women Community! Take advantage of our experts interviews at Smart Women Talk Radio, explore our blogs and free resources, and schedule time to take my free course, Unlock Your Financial Power. Behind every successful woman is a tribe of successful women who have her back. That’s Smart Women’s Empowerment. Sign up today!

 

Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books.

She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts. To learn more about Katana Abbott visit www.katanaabbott.com.

Thinking Big about Money

Thinking Big about Money

Our theme this month is Thinking Big About Money, and I’m thrilled to be interviewing international speaker and author, Maddy Dychtwald of Age Wave, about a year-long study she and her organization conducted with Merrill Lynch on women and money.  The results have been published in a 28-page report called, Women & Financial Wellness:  Beyond the Bottom Line.  Maddy and I will be exploring the results of this ground-breaking report on Smart Women Talk Radio, Tuesday, June 12.   

Don’t miss Maddy’s article, Why Women Feel They Will Run Out of Money. It includes some information that may astound you.  Because of our responsibilities and choices we make as women, many of us end up earning $1,000,000 less than men during our lifetime.  Maddy is a returning guest, and we are thrilled she is joining us during this important time of women’s global empowerment.

Business expert and author, Lewis Schiff, is also returning to Smart Women Talk Radio on June 26 to share the new work he is doing with millionaires and billionaires.  In his book Business Brilliant:  Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons, Lewis shatters common myths about wealth as he explains how legendary entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson, Suze Orman, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffet have subscribed to a set of priorities that are completely different from those of the middle class.  During the show, Lewis will share some of these differences and tips that you can implement immediately for your business.

Does talking about money or ways to get rich make you uncomfortable?  Chances are it does, and if so, you are not alone!  According the Age Wave/Merrill Lynch study mentioned above, “There is a social taboo around talking about money that adds to the lack of confidence. Sixty-one percent of women would rather talk about their own death than money. And 45% of women say they do not have a financial role model.”

This is astounding, but the good news is that women simply approach money differently than men.  According to a Private Client Advisor at U.S. Trust, “Women make more values-based decisions for themselves and their families, rather than just going for the bottom line.  When you bring values into the conversation, it makes all the difference.”

In my article, Use Your Past to Propel You Forward, I share my personal story and how I took adversity and turned it into abundance. There is no magic wand. However, with the right direction and support, you can take charge of your life, your finances and your happiness. Isn’t it time YOU begin to think BIG about money?

Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books.

She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts. To learn more about Katana Abbott visit www.katanaabbott.com.

The Psychological Impact of Money

The Psychological Impact of Money

How we feel about money and how we handle it truly does show up everywhere in our life. As a Wealth Coach and as a Certified Financial Planner, I’ve been helping women take charge of their money for over 30 years. For the last 10 years, I’ve been focused on mindset or what I call our money personality. There are five difference money personalities we might possess: Love, Security, Value, Recognition, and Status.

Each of us has a money personality that was formed very early in our childhood.  It was formed from what we observed and what we were told. Those experiences truly had a profound effect on us and they still do to this day.

Think back to when you were growing up. What were you told about money?  What did you observe?

Did you hear things like money doesn’t grow on trees? Or that you have to work hard for money? Maybe you heard that rich people are selfish and that it’s better to give than receive? Did you feel or observe things like scarcity, fear, abuse, neglect, or loneliness?  Dig deep and think about what ideas about money were formed as you grew up.

This month, our theme is dealing with the reality of debt. My goal right now is to help you see how your early experiences with money can often be the root cause for why many women rack-up debt without intending to.

I’ve heard so many different stories from women on how and why they have ended up in debt. Here are some examples of the five money personalities:

The Love personality may be trying to fill a hole in her heart and find herself over spending, buying multiple items or spending in order to belong. She doesn’t feel emotionally connected to it, almost like it is monopoly money.

A Value personality may feel like she is not good enough, and find herself over-giving, rescuing others, giving to the point of resentment and creating debt as a result of things just happening to her.

The Recognition personality may feel that she needs to prove herself, so she goes for the big win. If it doesn’t work out and she ends up in debt, she might find herself doing it again trying to prove she can fix it. She may be slow in responding to difficult money situations, so a small loss becomes a bigger one.

Someone with a Status personality may feel that no matter what she has it’s never enough, so she too runs up debt, often from compulsive spending, picking up the tab, buying expensive items regardless of current bank account. She may feel she needs to have the best and doing everything to the extreme.

Since a Security Personality desires to be safe and independent, she doesn’t usually have debt. If she does, it may have been caused by something out of her control. This type of experience would only confirm her fear that no matter how much she has, she may lose it all. So she will work to get rid of it as fast as possible and do anything to not let it happen again.

I’m a Recognition personality, and my challenge is big thinking, risk taking, and never giving up. Early in my career, I found myself in debt, and my solution was trying to fix it with one more big idea.

My husband is a Security personality, so he was horrified by my big ideas and risk taking. It caused many arguments and unnecessary stress during the early part of our marriage. It wasn’t until we sat down together to talk about this very topic that we realized that we were the perfect team!

The result? Instead of feeling challenged or judged by his “micromanaging,” I began to cherish the fact that he cares so much about taking care of all the little details around money management.  It’s worked amazingly well. We have now been married over 30 years!

He now sees my big ideas as a positive area to discuss and explore. He would never have taken the risk to buy our house on the lake or make some of our higher risk investments without me. Today, we work together on everything. We still get triggered by each other’s money personality characteristics, but we are able to calm down, breathe, and listen before we react.

If you are having a hard time controlling your spending, asking for what you are worth, or feeling like no matter how much you have, it’s never enough or that you never know when it may all just disappear, relax, it’s not your fault.

The great news is that you can heal your relationship with money and the fact that you are reading this today is perfect, because the first step is awareness.

Learning WHY you feel the way you do about money or WHY you spend it even when you know you shouldn’t is part of the healing process. When we are triggered, our little girl pops up and begins to run the show. Yes, a little 3, 5 or 7 year old ends up trying to protect us from getting hurt again.

What is the solution? Do the work to find out what experience triggered those disempowering feelings and behaviors that are happening today. You can then begin to release, forgive, and ultimately shift into a whole new awareness with new behaviors and coping skills. I do this type of work with women. You can learn more HERE.

There are self-help books, coaches, and workshops you can take to begin to heal your relationship with money – including programs like ours!

Last month, we interviewed Bari Tessler, author of The Art of Money, and this month, I am interviewing Dr. April Benson, author of I Shop Therefore I Am, and Robin Thompson, who will be addressing the Inner Work and Outer Work of getting out of debt and creating wealth.

In addition, you can take our free course, Unlock Your Financial Power, where there are exercises like the Money Quiz and Release and Receive in the Key #2 – Discovery section to help you begin

this process!  If you would like a more personal approach, click HERE learn about coaching.

   Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books.

She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts. www.katanaabbott.com

 

Are You a Shopaholic?

Are You a Shopaholic?

To Buy or Not To Buy? – it’s a question we ask and answer almost every day, and sometimes multiple times a day. For many people, it doesn’t cause a lot of inner turmoil, but if you are a compulsive buyer, it’s a high stakes question, and an affirmative answer can be devastating. Long trivialized as the “smiled-upon” addiction, thankfully, compulsive buying is coming farther and farther out of the closet, and the release of movies like Confessions of a Shopaholic is bringing the problem into the limelight.

We have reason to believe it’s becoming more prevalent. A study reported in the October 2006 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry suggested that about 5.8% of the U.S. population-more than fifteen million Americans-are compulsive buyers. A more recent study, published in the December, 2008 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that the number may be closer to 8.9%, more than 25 million Americans. And now with what may be another economic crisis developing, compulsive shoppers are feeling squeezed. Some are unable to resist prices which have been slashed to the bone in the hope of luring reluctant consumers. Others, fearing for their long term job stability, are using the uncertain economic times and certain interest rate boosts as the incentive they needed to become more mindful about their spending. And between these two poles, there are a multitude of other responses that overshoppers are having to the current economic uncertainties, ranging from denial to absolute panic.

When we think “addiction,” what first comes to mind is most likely alcohol or drugs or eating disorders. Even though we know that shopping, when done to excess, can spin dangerously out of control, shopping is still seen by many as superficial, light fare. Strongly reinforced by society, shopping has become the classic mixed-message behavior. On the one hand, it’s promoted endlessly (and to the ends of the earth) by those who profit from it. On the other hand, it’s regularly the stuff of jokes. Shoppers are portrayed as self-involved, materialistic, and empty. As a result, compulsive shopping may be an even greater source of guilt and shame than alcoholism or drug abuse, which are seen as bona fide disorders, requiring treatment.

So why the mixed-messages? Given the fact that consumption fuels our economy, in order to promote the ceaseless stoking of economic engines, every one of us is targeted as a consumer. We are pushed, prodded, programmed to purchase. Every year, billions of credit card offers go out to America’s three hundred million people – more than thirty offers to every man, woman, and child! Shopping itself has become a leisure and lifestyle activity; malls are the new town centers. We’re immersed, cradle to grave, in “buy messages” that, with greater and greater psychological sophistication, misleadingly associate products we don’t need with feelings we deeply desire.

Just check out the bumper stickers. “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping,” trumpets an SUV in front of me. For those who enjoyed high school Latin, there’s “Veni, Vidi, Visa!” A largely female version is “New Shoes Chase the Blues,” while men weigh in with “He Who Has the Most Toys When He Dies, Wins.”

 What I’ve learned from more than two decades of knowing, studying, working with, and writing about overshoppers, and from having been one myself, is that to change your behavior, you’ve got to change the way you feel about yourself and the way you go about meeting your authentic needs. It’s about understanding who you are, what you want, and what you really need.

In general, having more things means enjoying life less. Acquiring and maintaining objects can so fill up our lives and environment that there’s little time or space to use what’s been acquired. What we consume ends up consuming us.

April Lane Benson, Ph.D., is a nationally known psychologist who has specialized in the study and treatment of compulsive buying disorder for over two decades. Dr. Benson is the editor of I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self  (2000) and author of To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop (2008). Her company, Stopping Overshopping, LLC offers individual and group coaching using an evidence-based program, an interactive text messaging program, and a comprehensive website filled with information and effective strategies. Dr. Benson also trains therapists and frequently appears in the media. To learn more about Dr. April Benson go to ShopaholicNoMore.com.

Is Your Relationship with Money Healthy?

Is Your Relationship with Money Healthy?

I was interviewed several years ago by Lorwai Lan on how it’s never too late to become a midlife millionaire on her radio show, Your Money and Your Mindset. One of the things we discussed is mindset. This idea of mindset is so important because no matter how much you make or have, you will never be able to keep it, grow it, or feel secure and joyful about it unless you have a healthy relationship with money!

What is your mindset around money? If you received a large sum of money – millions of dollars, could you hold on to it? You say yes, but how are you treating the money that you have today? Do you respect and appreciate it? To create, grow, and keep wealth, you need to have a healthy relationship with it and an action plan.

  • Does the idea of becoming a midlife millionaire make you feel uncomfortable or does it feel too unrealistic?
  • What would your friends and family think of you if you were really rich?
  • Does the word millionaire seem too materialistic or masculine?
  • What were you told about money when you were growing up? Was it money doesn’t grow on trees or money is the root of all evil?
  • Are you negatively triggered by the idea of having a lot of money or by those who already have it?

Our relationship with money – how we feel about it AND what we do with it will have a profound effect on every area of our lives, because until we develop a truly sacred relationship with it, and that means both the Inner Work and Outer Work of money, we will never be able to ask for what we are worth, keep what we earn, invest confidently to make it grow, or feel secure and confident about it once we have it.

If you are struggling with your relationship with money, thinking it’s too late to become wealthy, waiting for someone else to solve your financial problems, hoping the issues will go away by simply ignoring them, or going deeper and deeper into debt, even being afraid to spend or invest it, then it’s time to take action.

I’ve worked with hundreds of women who need help with their money, and we always start with the Inner Work. The Inner Work is identifying our beliefs and disempowering beliefs around money, and then shifting, healing, and releasing those beliefs while creating new empowering beliefs and actions.

The Outer Work is what you are doing with your money. Are you getting paid what you are worth? Do you respect it by saving and investing for your future?

No matter where you are in your life, there is hope. Let’s get started:

Step #1: Start with the Inner Work – your beliefs around money. Let’s identify your money personality.

There are 5 money personalities:

  • Value – I need to prove I am good enough.
  • Status – Whatever I achieve is not enough.
  • Love – I need to do whatever it takes to get love.
  • Security – I never know when what I have may be taken from me.
  • Recognition – I need to prove I’m right.

Once you identify your disempowering belief, challenge, and money personality, then it is time to release, forgive, and heal. This process can take years, or if done with a professional, it can be instantaneous. It’s truly step number one. This one step will shift everything. I’ve seen it happen with hundreds of women, frequently with immediate almost magical results.

Step #2: Now you can begin the Outer Work – Taking Action. This is where you begin to look at where you stand and where you want to go. It’s time to be brutally honest, to clean up messes, set goals, and get the help you need. Steps could include:

  • Create a financial plan.
  • Take a financial course like our free Unlock Your Financial Power
  • Go to a financial counselor if you are in debt.

Step #3: Don’t give up – Don’t try to do this part alone. Get support and surround yourself with like-minded women who are on the same path. You can do this by joining our free Smart Women Community and connecting with us on our Facebook page.

I believe in you. I have been there and know how to do this. I surrounded myself with dozens of supporters, and they are all part of this community of smart, successful women who are willing to reach out and help each other. Check out our free resources and let us know how you transform. We want to hear from you!

 

Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books.

She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts. www.katanaabbott.com

Smart Women Tip:  #14 – Could Your Money Personality be Sabotaging Your Marriage?

Smart Women Tip: #14 – Could Your Money Personality be Sabotaging Your Marriage?

It’s hard to believe that my husband, Mark, and I just celebrated our 32nd anniversary this month. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with my husband. He’s not only my partner, but he’s also my best friend and loudest cheerleader. Our marriage has always been strong, but I confess that I wish I had known then what I know now … especially regarding money psychology or money personality.

According to a survey by SunTrust Bank, money is the leading cause of stress in relationships. Although divorce rates are falling, nearly 40% of all marriages are dissolved before a couple reaches their ten-year anniversary. Again, money is the primary culprit. I realize no one enters a marriage with the anticipation of ending it, but there are ways to safeguard your union. (more…)

When was the last time you were inspired?

Sign up now for our Weekly Ezine, Radio Show Invitations, PLUS, 100 days of Inspiration!

Name
Email

You have Successfully Subscribed!