Women, Let’s Talk Money

What has been the biggest cause of frustration and/or stress in your life?

What is holding you back from moving forward on your journey? (c) Arianna Merritt

What is holding you back from moving forward on your journey? (c) Arianna Merritt

The first word that comes to mind for me, a female founder, is “money.” During a recent conversation with a friend, I realized that money is keeping me awake at night and a daily stressor. Perhaps it is for you too?

There are so many challenges facing entrepreneurs! It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to turn a dream into reality. Many of us just roll up our sleeves, don’t complain, and keep moving forward! But lately, I have been called to voice the financial struggles.

Money is a hard topic to discuss as it brings a lot of guilt and shame to many. It used to be seen as taboo and one of those things you don’t talk about. But, we NEED to start talking.

I can’t tell you how many phone calls and in-person conversations I have had with people who are frustrated or struggling with their financial situation, especially strong, talented women. I’ve had many women cry on my shoulders over their finances and where they are going to find funding for their businesses. To be honest, I have had some good cries too. It is so frustrating when you have so much talent and passion to make a difference, and yet no opportunities. There are many talented aspiring women in this situation. After seeing someone recently be so honest and open about money in everyday conversation, I felt refreshed and inspired. So, I came up with a catch-phrase: Women, Let’s Talk Money.

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As you know, I am a Female Founder and Advisor – who built this platform in 2010 from the ground up all by herself. With no training in tech or business and no blogging community, I had only my expertise in psychology and my passion to make a difference in the world as my adrenalin. I put in the long hours and hard work to build the blog. It brought me payback, though: helping others!

I love helping people; this is why I began the blog.  It has been free from the start, so it can be accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. The blog has a “business page,” and how people mostly find me. However, many want my consulting services (concerning mental health, website design, and social media) for FREE.

As a trained consultant and advisor, where I struggle is that providing advice and support is my profession; I have two degrees in psychology and have to make a living as a service-based professional. While I love helping people and that is my gift, I also need a steady pay-cheque to take care of myself.

This is not a unique situation to me; I know many service-based entrepreneurs and creatives who love their craft but also need to make a living. In terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, money is a basic need for survival and self-sufficiency.

So I have found a way to do both. I am still going to write my blog, because I love it and how it can transform people’s lives! Yet if people want specific coaching/consulting services as well, they can contact me through my “business page.”

One thing that has really stood out to me along the way is that I’m really good at managing money. I worked my way through two professional degrees with no debt. That is something I am proud of.  Getting scholarships, saving, and making a little go a long way has given me a solid start.  

Taking care of our finances is self-care.

Taking care of our finances is self-care. We have to put on our own oxygen masks before helping others. It can be hard to ask, but it is so important! We need to charge for our services.

You wouldn’t go to a hair dresser and get their services, then expect it to be free?! Yet, why so often do people want to keep getting free advice?

We need to talk about money. So many of us are struggling with our finances and are scared for our futures in this economy. We never learned about financial literacy in school. Also, in my case, I had no clue what resources were available for women entrepreneurs. As I know so many of you refrain from talking about money too, I am going to start a conversation.

I don’t want my story to be a female founder who is getting by; rather, I want my narrative to be a female founder who is rocking it. Time for a plot twist in my story.

What keeps me lying awake at night now is how to support female founders with the funding we need to invest in ourselves and get our talents and skills out into the world! I’m turning my pain into purpose and changing the world along the way.

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Women, Let’s Talk Money. You are not alone. We are in this together. Things will get better.

Start by adding your voice to the conversation below.