Daring to Be Ourselves…Financially

Marianne Schnall
Marianne Schnall

Do you have enough money?

Last week I wrote about the high cost to women of not speaking up for ourselves financially in the workplace.  One statistic from that piece keeps floating through my head like the Goodyear blimp:  Women who consistently negotiate their salaries throughout their careers earn $1 million more over their work lives than women who do not.

This struck me for two reasons.  First, during my 15 years in corporate America I never once asked for a raise.  Why?  When I’m 100% honest with myself it’s that I was afraid to “Just Do It” as the Nike commercial says.  I didn’t want to sound pushy, greedy, or heaven forbid:  “Not. Nice.”  Second, 57 women were kind enough to take a short survey I put together about their feelings around money.  By far the number one phrase that popped up was “not enough money.”

Some of it was frustration about not having enough money right now due to job loss, health issues, lack of understanding about personal finance and/or poor spending habits.  Some of it was fear around not having enough money in retirement.  But over and over that same phrase, “not enough money,” kept coming up.  So I asked myself to what degree our fear about not having enough money and ending up old and poor can be transformed by our own actions.

For inspiration, I decided to turn to Feminist.com founder Marianne Schnall’s inspiring new book, Daring To Be Ourselves: influential women share insights on courage, happiness and finding your own voice.  Schnall’s book is a delightful compendium of quotes from women ranging from Maya Angelou to Madeleine Albright to Margaret Cho.  While these insights extend to broader issues, I find that they can also be applied to money.  For example, if you are feeling like you don’t have “enough money” and that the root cause might be that you are not speaking up in the workplace and/or daring to be yourself financially, here are a few of my favorite abbreviated snippets to use as money mantras:

Manisha Thakor

“… no matter how hard it is to do it, it’s harder not to do it.  Then you’re stuck with wondering, ‘What if I had said…?’ ‘What if I had done…?’  –Gloria Steinem

“Stop living your life as if you’re going to be rescued… and you will transform whatever pain is inside you. ” -Eve Ensler

“Get over the feeling that the two words don’t go together – women and power… We have to own our personal power…” – Jane Fonda

What about you – do you have any money mantras that help you speak up and own your financial power?

Manisha Thakor

Republished with permission


  1. George says

    Like, duh! People in a position to ask for a raise make more money than people who are not. What a revelation!

    This from a website that recently featured a global warming denier who confused climate with weather.

  2. Ryder says

    Practical advice.

    What does this do to the theory that women are underpaid because of sexist male management?

    Perhaps they aren’t underpaid at all…

    If this is one area where women can stop acting like women, and act more like men to get the same results as men… then perhaps it’s the case that if women did a dozen things more like men… that they would get results even closer to those of men. Like not having babies. Ever.

    Of course men have been pointing this out for a long time.

    The best guarantee that women have the same opportunities as men (note, I said OPPORTUNITIES) is the free market, and liberty in general.

    In a free market… people will turn to those that have something good to trade, and in the end, will trade with a woman every time if she has more to offer.

    Real progress for women depends on women who side with freedom… at every turn. Who shun government interference and market distortions.

    For example, I don’t do business with businesses that proclaim that they are “Women Owned” because I know that, generally, such businesses are really owned by a husband who uses government hand outs to his advantage strictly because he was smart enough to put his wife above his on the company stationary.

    That is a disgusting distortion of free market principles, all thanks to massive government interference with markets.

    Women need to be able to promise and deliver as well as men do, and they will be able to ask for the same price that men do. Period.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *