Since we all have been at home lately, I have noticed that I have been watching a lot more television, especially on the weekends. Just this past weekend, I came across one of my all time favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption.
I don’t know exactly why this movie speaks to me so much. Maybe it is because it's a story of persistence and resilience. Or maybe it is because the main character, Andy, seems to build a plan and execute it with perfection. After all, I have been told I am a control freak and I do love to plan, so seeing this work out for Andy gives me hope that I am doing something right. Or perhaps it is the phrase where Red, Andy’s friend, says to him, “you better get busy living or get busy dying”, that makes me love this movie so much. I still have that phrase hanging in my office to this day.
I think the reason I like this phrase so much is that it reminds me that as long as I am growing, I am living. I am not stagnant or sitting still. Standing still means I am really declining. Because change is inevitable. Not doing anything means the world around us keeps moving. If I am not growing, I am not choosing to let life happen to me, rather than creating the life I want to have.
But being willing to participate in growth means you have to deal with some discomfort. You have to be vulnerable. And neither of those things are fun.
When I was doing research in preparation to launch myWorth, I was struck by how many women weren’t taking an active role in their own financial path. Some told me it was because they didn’t know where to start. Others said they felt like they weren’t smart enough to figure it all out. And then there were those who pushed off the responsibility to a spouse or parent. And even some, who seemed to be in a state of denial about the importance of knowing what was happening to their money.
I also found that these reasons were manageable until a crisis occurred. Not necessarily a global pandemic type of crisis, but a personal one. When a crisis would arise, then all of a sudden the desire to know what was happening with money became an urgent need.
This erratic approach to our money can’t and won’t work long term. Trying to learn about money in the midst of a crisis, when there are a multitude of other emotions at play, only leads to frantic decision making and regret. We have to find a way to get out of this vicious cycle of only making a change when the pain of staying where we are is so great, it pushed us into doing something. I know we can change this mindset and make decisions that are logical, meaningful, and most importantly, in our best interest.
But where do we start? How do we begin to know what to do with our financial situation?
This is what precipitated the launch of the myWorth Academy. I wanted to give women in our community a place to start. To learn and grow. To ask questions and get honest, transparent answers. I wanted to provide knowledge that could be used to take ownership of one’s money journey.
As we began to create the first course in the myWorth Academy, a global pandemic hit. But all that did was to encourage the team and me at myWorth to continue to get this course out faster. Because, as I mentioned earlier, a crisis is often when people recognize they can no longer remain dormant. They have to get into action.
As we look for the silver lining in all this, we can take this opportunity to turn this pandemic into something positive. We can let this unique situation shift our mindset and pull us towards a proactive solution. Perhaps, we can take this to remind us of the importance of having a plan. Putting in place some of those basic financial principles we hear about, but don’t always act on. There are many lessons we can learn here, which is what the myWorth Academy is all about. It is an opportunity to take control of our money and our lives so that we no longer are in a situation where we are not prepared.
There are ways to do this so that the discomfort of having to get into action doesn't overwhelm us. We can start by becoming aware of the discomfort. What are we feeling? What are we thinking? What are we doing? Who are we being when it comes to our money? Becoming aware of this makes it real. It gives us power. This is where we can begin to normalize the discomfort. We start to understand what is happening. We get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
We can then put these feelings into perspective and reality check our expectations. We can take that initial first step recognizing we are making progress, not trying to achieve perfection. Then, we can continue to take another step, then another, gaining the knowledge we need to continue moving forward, And that is when we start to grow and flourish.
If you have been waiting to take action on understanding more about your money, then the myWorth academy is the perfect place to get started. After taking this course you will have the basics down on how to manage cash flow, protect your finances now and in the future, and grow your wealth. We’ll help you build a holistic financial wellness plan to set you up for long-term success -- and we'll guide you through the steps you need to take to act on your plan.
And as you begin this journey, you should expect to continue to feel uncomfortable at times, but we are here to partner with you. To answer your questions and to make sure you have what you need to continue to grow.
I know we are all ready to get back to normal. I am too. But I also want to make sure I take the lessons learned from this and use it to better my life. I want to look at not just what was lost, but also what was found. When I look around and see what was found, I find choice. We can choose to take this opportunity and make a shift. To start paying attention to what is around us. To take action on the aspects of our lives that we have been neglecting or avoiding. I also find courage. Trying something new is hard, but worth it. I am in this with you and together, we can do this.
Ande began her 20+ year career as an adviser and quickly realized that many people weren’t taking into account was how emotions play a huge factor in financial decision making. Leaving behind her practice to focus solely on educating both advisers and consumers alike, she became an expert in behavioral finance. Author, speaker, thought leader, and money educator, Ande is helping women to take control of their money.
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