Barbara Huson (previously known as Barbara Stanny), is the leading authority on women, wealth and power. As a bestselling author, teacher & wealth coach, Barbara has helped millions take charge of their finances and their lives.
Barbara's background in business, her years as a journalist, her Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology, her extensive research, and her personal experience with money give her a unique perspective and makes her the foremost expert on empowering women to live up to their financial and personal potential.
Barbara Huson has been featured on Good Morning America, The View, Extra, The O'Reilly Report, and many times on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, PBS and NPR, as well as the New York Times, and USA Today.
Barbara is the author of 6 books:
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
Overcoming Underearning: A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life
Finding a Financial Advisor You Can Trust: A Guide for Investors and Those Who Want To Be
Breaking Through: Getting Past the Stuck Points in Your Life
Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles
You can learn more about Barbara and her work at www.Barbara-Huson.com
Susan starts out the interview thanking Barbara for the inspiration she gave her in order to start this podcast, using two quotes for Barbara: “Do something scary every day,” and “Pay attention to your purpose.”
Susan then introduces some provocative theories: 1) If women were to truly step into their power around money, they wouldn't choose to spend it on militarization as we (as a global community) have spent on it historically, and 2) We don’t need armed conflict anymore. It’s an outdated form of security and it does not achieve what it seeks to achieve. In short, it’s a bad investment. Furthermore, societies with real partnerships between men and women, don’t invest very much on militarization.
Barbara introduces her specialization by saying that money is the currency of power. There is a global epidemic of codependence for women where they feel the need to meet everyone else’s needs before their own.
Women from a very early age, have developed a learned helplessness. Women have been raised to be dependent, financially and in other ways. Men are raised to be the breadwinners. Neither of us were taught to have healthy relationships with ourselves and with money. However, women have been changing these relationships rapidly and women have the support to make that change. For example, women’s empowerment movements, including #MeToo, have encouraged women to take control over their own destinies. Men are at a disadvantage here because they don’t have a support system for stepping into this new reality and it is scary for them. This is one example of how sexism truly benefits no one.
Barbara asserts that men are afraid of women’s power. For men, power means “domination over.” Women think of power as “collaboration with.” Therefore, the threat of women dominating men is frightening.
When human beings are threatened in this way, we go back to our primitive brains. This means it’s either “fight” or “flight,” and for most men, it’s fight.
Money doesn’t make you powerful. The process you have to undergo in order to be a good steward of our money and maintain wealth is what makes you powerful. You have to be a woman who knows what she wants and expresses that in the world unapologetically. Barbara says that she is such an advocate for women to be financially capable because she wants women to step into their power.
Fear gets in the way of women truly stepping into their own power. Women feel threatened because of years of conditioning where women have been punished for being who they truly are. Let us not forget, powerful women were burned at the stake.
In this century in the United States, there is an enormous wealth transfer occurring whereby at some point, 70% of wealth will be in the hands of women. Nonetheless, much of this is still in name only. Women are not taking charge even though they have the capacity to.
80% of women were not protecting themselves financially, even though they know they should be. A study of 1500 women found that women wanted to protect their money, but they felt that they couldn’t manage it, so they let someone else do it.
Women outperform men in investing. Most women are not risk takers in the stock market and they tend to buy and hold, which is better strategy over time than buying and selling (which is what most men do). Women lack the confidence to do what they need to do financially.
Susan raises the important concern that women may feel that they cannot be financially independent and wealthy without that being a “turn off” to potential partner.
Barbara was born into a wealthy family and she married a stock broker, who also had a gambling problem. He managed their money, including her inheritance and, after their divorce, she was getting tax bills for a million dollars when she didn’t have a million dollars to pay them. She had 3 children and knew that she really needed to start getting smart about managing her money. When she reached out for helped, she realized that she wasn’t just “uneducated” about financial management, but she was actually scared about being financially independent because her main concerns were that her parents would be mad at her and that no man would love her. This is something that many women need to work on.
Susan is also from an affluent family, but she was raised to believe that men controlled money. She even came to think of money as dirty to deal with -- it was something that women shouldn't be involved with. Barbara asserts that this is also a theme in many religions and cultures as well.
Three levels of financial stability for Barbara:
Survival - not enough
Stability - enough
Affluence - more than enough
In order for women to create affluence, they have to break down years of conditioning.
Susan tells a personal anecdote of dating and hiring men that gave off an aura of being able to support her-- manage her money, fix things in her house, do her taxes, keep her healthy, etc. when really, they were just over charging her for mediocre service.
Susan also indicates that there is a split between masculine and feminine in the international development world. Corporations, businesses and the military can cause destruction and do the heavy lifting of reconstructing, but nonprofits have to be there to include everyone, and take into account the feelings of those affected and build peace from the bottom up. We need to create much more mutual relationships because we really need both.
Blocks to women stepping into their own power: There is still this notion that some strong man will take care of women.
Barbara claims that what all of these anecdotes point to it that women won’t own their power. They don’t want to make waves. Once a woman reaches financial stability, she is often no longer motivated by money. She is motivated by being able to give back. That is why it’s so critical for women to make money-- not so that she can amass riches, but so that more people with money will give back and create a better society.
Susan notes that the planet spends $1.7 trillion annually on. Susan believes that this might not happen if women are controlling finances, however, Barbara raises an interesting point: Women WILL spend this money on militarization if they are scared. Conflict is driven by fear. While organized war has not existed since the beginning of time (Douglas Fry), conflict between individuals and groups has existed so long as there has been fear.
Trends between women with money and women in relationships
Women begin attracting people on the same wavelength and relationships that are threatened by this, will fall away.
There are ways for couples to support each other that have nothing to do with money. Having a man with a high self-esteem is far more important than wealth when we get over this notion that women want to be taken care of.
In order to create a more sustainable world, we need powerful women and enlightened men. There is global support for powerful women and they’ve never had this support before.
Barbara’s constituency are women who want to create wealth and who are purpose driven. As Mother Teresa said: “It takes a checkbook to change the world.”
One of the key elements of transformation is to be willing to get uncomfortable.
Please Note: There is a great deal of discussion of “men” versus “women” in this podcast. This is not to imply that ALL women or ALL men, but rather that most men are more likely to behave a certain way and most women are more likely to behave a different way. This language should not be interpreted as a binary, but rather on a spectrum of stereotypically masculine to stereotypically feminine.