Ep. 035: Barbara Huson: Becoming Your Own Prince Charming - Women, Money, Power & Peace
In this episode, Susan turns to the topic of money and its connection to women’s empowerment and building a more peaceful planet.
Susan often finds herself saying “follow the money” if you really want to understand what's going on in a complex system. As earlier guests on the show have pointed out, our war system is hugely profitable to some (and very costly to all other people and life) – approximately $2 trillion dollars a year. We also have a virtual global epidemic of women’s codependency on men – by one seasoned expert’s estimation -- about 90%, and women not taking charge around money is a very good metric of this. Women stepping into their power is key to building peace on this planet and, as money is the currency of power, women getting smart about money goes hand in glove.
That's where Barbara Huson comes in, not because she professes to be an expert on our military expenditures or global peace but rather is the leading authority on women, wealth and power.
Barbara provided critical inspiration to Susan in getting this podcast going with her guidance to “do something scary every day” and “connect to your purpose”.
Barbara is a bestselling author. She's written books like "Prince Charming isn't Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money", "Secrets of Six Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to up Your Earnings and Change your Life", "Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles", and others. She's been featured on 'Good Morning America', 'The View', 'The O'Reilly Report' and a lot of other popular news shows. She is a journalist, coach, savvy business person and just a simply wonderful, insightful person with a compelling personal story about empowering herself around money.
In her own words:
“I grew up relying on my father (the “R” of H&R Block), then my husband, to manage my money. But early in my marriage, I found out my husband was a compulsive gambler. And here’s the insane part — I continued to let him manage the money because that’s how scared and intimidated I was by money. It wasn’t until a devastating financial crisis became a personal wake-up call. I got tax bills for over $1m for illegal deals my ex got us in. He’d left the country, I didn’t have $1m, and my father wouldn’t lend me the money. I had three daughters — one just a baby, and I was not going to raise them on the street. That’s when I knew I had to get smart. And I did.”
Barbara’s weekly blog post “Words of Wealth” is really one of Susan’s favorites: It’s short, clear and ALWAYS has something valuable to say about the deeper internal gook of how we are about money. Barbara attests to how hard she works at it – it clearly pays off.
So here are a few of my favorite parts of the interview:
“Its not the money that’s going to give us power” Barbara says. “I don’t believe that money gives you power. Money has no power. It’s the process of who we have to become to be good stewards of our money. We have to become a powerful woman, and a powerful woman, is someone who knows who she is, who knows what she wants and expresses that in the world unapologetically.” Women are still so deeply codependent from so many centuries of conditioning. As a result, we will undermine ourselves in all kinds of ways such as caretaking dysfunctional men or putting ourselves in harms way, because of our deep belief that our survival simply depends on it. Throughout the episode, Susan and Barbara both share personal stories of how they fell into this trap and pulled themselves out of it.
Barbara confirms what Susan has been hearing in different venues, that -- at least in the United States --70% of all wealth will be transferred to women in the 21st century. Women are earning more money and inheriting more, but not necessarily commanding this resource with confidence and power but rather often handing that job over to men.
Finally, according to Barbara, when it comes to money, women are motivated by different things than men around money. They will yawn and glaze over when it’s just about money for money’s sake but get more fired up when they begin to see the power of helping their families and communities. That’s why her target audience is women who want to create wealth because they are purpose driven and know, as Mother Teresa said, that it takes a check book to change the world.
Given that, Susan takes the leap that if women get much smarter about their own money, we might also start paying attention and saying NO, like Leymah Gbowee did around war in Liberia, to the trillions of global annual military spending that is not addressing any of our very urgent planetary problems today.
Please listen to this delightful person who is so generous and simply great fun to just spend time with. Whatever gender, you will gain a lot of insight.