Better to Be on Top of Your Finances than Underneath A Loser
The time has come. For women it’s past time to get excited about money. Now that we’ve squirmed and blushed our way through chapters of intimate details of one woman’s sex life (and perhaps were enticed to experiment with a thing or two), it is time to embrace the last taboo and discover your OMG combination to a wealthier you. What gets your heart racing, buckles your knees, then makes you want to get on top and ride it for all it’s worth? That kind of excitement is possible when you get in sync with your financial mojo.
As with lovemaking your financial journey begins with self-exploration. The first chapter contains a couple of questionnaires, one which asks you to indicate how you feel about the four ways to make money, and the second how you feel about problem solving and creativity, risk, stress, and motivation. By examining how you align with these areas, you can first determine which avenues get you excited, then how to personalize that method to increase your chances of financial orgasm.
There is a chapter devoted to each of the four ways to make money, or as I fondly refer to as fourplay. In the spirit of full disclosure there is another method, and even though it may not get me breathing hard, I’ve included a chapter for those of you who gravitate toward the safe, do-it-like-our-grandparents-did approach. Anyway, back to fourplay. Each chapter contains the various ways to make money in that endeavor. Then depending on how you responded to the second questionnaire, you can select which particular technique fits your comfort level and personality.
While self-exploration and experimentation certainly have their value in our sexual and financial lives, there’s a lot to be said for teachers – whether they be human or media such as magazines, books, videos, or the Internet. In lovemaking the human body is designed to function in a certain way. Do this and you’ll get that. Touch here and this happens. Finances work pretty much the same way. Do this, say, put money in the bank, and you’ll get that, interest added to your account. Relying on the financial hit-and-miss technique can result in a disastrous outcome and take a long time (if ever) to recover. The more you can learn from others before you put your skin in the game, the less time you’ll spend figuring it out through trail-and-error and the faster you’ll get where you want to be.
Learning the art of moneymaking is much like the art of lovemaking. In the beginning we tend to be clumsy and often make some missteps. There is little (if any) education either at home or in a classroom so we are left to figure it out on our own. Eventually with practice (and maybe a little luck) we find our groove and our winning combination for success. The Financial O gives you the confidence and information to power through the awkwardness to get you on top of your finances.
Whether we’re talking about losing our heart or our money, how we evaluate risk – then come to terms with it – can increase our chances for success. Even though you’ll have the opportunity to explore your risk tolerance later, I thought it prudent to introduce some basic principles here that apply across the financial gambit.
By definition, risk is the potential that something you do or don’t do will lead to an undesirable outcome. Even though risk is a part of everyday life, most of us have learned to manage that risk by making choices to either: avoid, accept, mitigate, or transfer it. Often times we make automatic choices such as fastening our seat belts, obeying traffic laws, and securing doors and windows on our home and cars – examples of how we can reduce our exposure to risk. Other choices take more thought such as which insurance to purchase (an example of how to transfer the risk) or decide whether or not to engage in a certain activity such as motorcycle riding or rock climbing (examples of how we can either avoid risk or accept it).
When it comes to matters of the heart I would say most of us decide that finding someone to share our lives with outweighs the possibility of getting our heart broken. That’s not to say we don’t take precautions – keep our guard up for awhile, engage in a variety of activities and discussions to see if we align socially, politically, and religiously, postpone intimacy, maybe even do a background check.
In the world of finance, same thing, plus some math. When you’re dealing with investments, the precautions are about doing your homework and evaluating calculated risk. We evaluate the probability of success or failure before an action is undertaken, which is accomplished through a multi-action approach: research of a particular industry, investment or activity, evaluating competition, and crunching numbers to estimate the viability of a specific endeavor. Calculating a risk can range from Googling, reading articles, and speaking with current employees of a potential employer to spending months gathering information and calculating the feasibility of a new product idea.
No matter which investment paths you choose to travel doing research is imperative to your success. It’s not to say that success is guaranteed, but decisions made in haste, clouded in emotion, or without proper investigation can cost you more than you bargained for. A “logic time-out” can offer you the information and perspective necessary for a better chance of long-term success. This includes who you decide to partner with or who you choose for your team. The best time to manage expectations, outline work and take care of finances is in the beginning to make sure there is a good fit.
Speaking of emotion, let’s not forget the role emotions play in both camps. Oh yes, we can push all the right buttons to get the desired results during sex, but there’s some sort of feeling going on even if it’s just the pleasure of the act. Sex is personal, nakedness is exposure, and whatever you’re at on the topic of when, where and with whom to have sex there’s an opportunity for emotions to influence our decisions along the relationship continuum.
Financial matters are no different. No matter how much money you have emotions influence money decisions – from the toy you thought you’d die if you didn’t get, to which charity you donate, to which products you buy, to how you invest. As with our sexual lives, there are pre- and post-decision emotions going on in our financial lives, and a lot of life going on in between. Have you ever bought a hot stock because everyone else did without checking out whether it was right for you? Jumped into a business venture because the pitch was energizing and the upside exciting? Felt guilt or shame after putting out for something you didn’t really need (or even want for that matter)? It’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment when emotions are driving the decision process and our brains are in park. Managing our emotions in the financial arena enables us to better manage our finances. Each chapter contains suggestions on how you keep emotions in check.
What gets you to your special place is unique to you. Sexually. Financially. You deserve the big O, baby. Read on!