Financial problems are usually not solely about money… they are usually about having the power to take control of your destiny.
Women have been holding back their power for generations. Women need support. We need courage, and we need to find our purpose so that we can step fully into our power, specifically when it comes to making informed financial decisions.
Today’s guest, Barbara Huson, has been crusading for women for decades when it comes to wealth and power. She’s been on Good Morning America, The View, Extra, CNN, MSN, and she’s here to share her unique perspective on how to find financial freedom!
We dive in and discuss how to find your purpose and have the passion to drive you through any hurdles that come your way.
While there are many ways to find your purpose, the one thing you have to do to is crystallize and clarify your purpose:
- Know who you are.
- Know what you want.
Barbara Huson, author of Prince Charming Isn’t Coming, shares her story of how she became a leading authority in empowering women to take charge of their own financial futures, with lots of tips and mindset shifts for you along the way.
Today on the InFLOW podcast, Barbara shares:
- Finding your purpose, passion, and your drive.
- Small actionable steps you can take everyday to get smarter about money.
- One secret key to finding success.
Find out more!
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- Find out more about Barbara Huson at: https://www.barbara-huson.com/
Barbara: Thank you. That was a wonderful introduction, thank you.
Michelle: Thank you so much, yeah. Like I said, I’ve been your secret admirer from afar. I almost feel like you and I have been together because I’ve read your thoughts through the book, the “Sacred Success” which I know is not the only bestselling book. You know, you have “Prince Charming Isn’t Coming,” “Secrets of Six-Figure Women,” “Overcoming Underearning,” “Finding a Financial Advisor You Can Trust,” “Breaking Through,” and so on, so, all of them amazing, amazing books. And, you know, how did you start, how did you land on becoming, you know, the foremost expert for women when it comes to wealth and power? How did you grow up around money? Did that have anything to do with it? Tell us all about it.
Barbara: It’s a fluke, it’s a total fluke, I tell you. So, yeah, I was raised in a wealthy family. My father was the R of H&R Block and the only advice he ever gave me about money was, “Don’t worry,” and so I thought that was great advice. I didn’t want to worry, I had money, I had an inheritance, I just wanted to spend it, and there was always a man to take care of me. I mean, that was the message I got. But it turned out my Prince Charming, the man I married, who was a stockbroker, turned out to be a compulsive gambler.
Michelle: Oh, my God.
Barbara: And over the course, I stayed with him for 15 years knowing he was gambling my money away and I continued, this is the insane part, I continued to let him manage it because that’s how stupid I felt and intimidated I was by anything financial. Finally, after our divorce, I decided I did not want…money was not my thing, I didn’t want to deal with money. Well, I have this theory, “You don’t deal with money, your money will deal with you.” And then I got tax bills for over $1 million. I didn’t have $1 million, not even close to it, my ex had left the country, my father wouldn’t lend me the money, and that’s when I knew I had to get smart. And so, I started going to classes, reading books and my eyes would glaze over. And, finally, finally, I was a journalist writing for the “San Francisco Business Times” and I was hired for a project to interview women who were smart with money, and those interviews changed my life. I wrote my first book, “Prince Charming Isn’t Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money,” and here I am. So I’ll tell you, it’s just funny where life takes you.
Michelle: Yeah, yeah. And it comes, you know, from challenges and difficulties. Now, I know that on “Sacred Success,” which is the book that was given to me by a mutual friend and mentor, and I incredibly resonated not just with the steps, you describe a four-step process, but you also talk about there, about the power of achieving wealth and power by merging two things, and you talk about higher income with a higher calling, and that’s after “Overcoming Underearning.” So can you elaborate what you mean by that because I find that incredibly, you know, deeply spiritual. There’s a reverence that is being brought into the conversation, a sacredness that is being brought into the conversation when you think about it in that way.
Barbara: So let me begin by saying there’s three levels of financial development. There’s survival, stability, and affluence. Survival is not enough, stability is enough, and affluence is more than enough. To go from survival to stability, you have to have a profit motive. You love money, money’s a good thing, you want to make money. But to go from stability to affluence… Fine, yes, profit is a desired outcome for sure, but it’s no longer the primary goal. The primary goal is greatness. And I define greatness as that place — I paraphrase a quote by Fred Buckner — is that place where your deep gladness, doing what you were put on this Earth to do meets the world’s deep hunger, and that is sacred success. And sacred success means pursuing your soul’s purpose for your own bliss and the benefit of others while being richly rewarded. And it is having that purpose, that higher purpose, along with a profit motive, that will get you through the toughest of times, the stickiest challenges, it will keep you going.
Michelle: Yeah. I love that. And, you know what, the very first thing, as you were speaking, is, for so many, including myself, I had a period, really, of rediscovery of trying to find out what my purpose was, and it was a series of serendipitous events that brought me to where I am now. But for anyone that is starting, you know, that hears that whisper, that deep yearning, you know, and is starting to try to discover or rediscover, because at some point, I think, we knew it, and because we were in the pursuit of profit, we lost it, you know what I mean. How can you rediscover that purpose again?
Barbara: Michelle, let me ask you because I’m just dying to know. I know this is your podcast but I really want to know, what is your purpose?
Michelle: My purpose is I know that I’m here to be a catalyst for growth for people, especially for women, that I’m here to, you know, be an architect of visions of abundance for others. I love being always in a state of inspiration and that’s one of the core feelings that I’m going for and that I want to offer to others because that has been instrumental in helping me, not just have a forceful expansion when it comes to money but think of any expansion and feel it, as I’m going through that expansion, in a much more harmonious way. I’ve been burned out in the past and I don’t want other women to go through that as well. So I know that, you know, that that’s what I’m here for.
Barbara: And the purpose, finding your purpose, brings a passion like you just showed us that will keep you going past all kinds of hurdles, and that’s why it’s so important. So the question was, how do you find your purpose?
Michelle: Yeah. If you’re looking for it, if you think you know but you cannot really crystallize it or clarify it, you know, what are some things that someone could do?
Barbara: Look back when you were the happiest. Look back at when you were the happiest and you will see there’s a… And a purpose need not be this global giant thing like world peace. It could be something as simple as spreading love. Just look at when you have been the most happiest and that is where you will find your purpose and you will find your power. Look at when you have been the most unhappiest and that is when you have given your power away and have not been following your purpose. Now for me, I found my highest purpose in my deepest pain which is often where you [inaudible 00:08:22] purpose. For me…
Michelle: A dark knight of the soul [inaudible 00:08:24].
Barbara: Even more that money has always been a source of pain and suffering for me, until it wasn’t. And just like you, I wanted to make sure no woman went through what I went through because she was ignorant, and felt stupid, and clumsy around money. And I know problems with money are never about money, they’re always about power. And the reason I think women, in particular, have problems with money, is their fear of or ambivalence about power. And my definition of a powerful woman is someone who knows who she is, who knows what she wants, and expresses that in the world unapologetically. And that’s hard. When we know who we are and we know who we want, and that’s an ongoing thing, that going to happen, that’s ongoing, that’s where, in the deepest recesses of your soul, you will find your purpose, why you’re here.
Michelle: Oh, that is beautiful, beautiful. Now, with being powerful comes having to have courage, because I find that there’s a lot of opportunity out there, Barbara, and our courage hasn’t caught up with the opportunity, you know, to be powerful. You know, it is that your experience a little bit as well? And it probably comes from this money thing being only about 40, 50 years old for women and feeling ambivalent about money and so on and so forth, that we feel a little bit uncertain, that we equate uncertainty with something that is no bueno. When uncertainty can be pregnant with potential when it comes to going for certain opportunities that can help you build wealth, and money, and power, and so on, and so forth, don’t you think?
Barbara: So what’s your question?
Michelle: So my question is do you think that or how would a woman that doesn’t feel as confident around money or courageous about, you know, taking certain investing opportunities, or how can… Because there is the fact that you can go and get educated, financial literacy, I mean, there’s plenty of it out there, you know what I mean? But, still, women are still abdicating certain decisions, you know, to a husband. Like for example, I fundraise for large apartments, and, usually, sometimes, you know, ladies say, “I am so impressed with you but at the end of the day, you need to talk to my husband because my husband is the one that is going to decide whether we do this or not.” Why do you think women are still so ambivalent? You know, is it courage?
Barbara: I remember when I wrote my first book, and my first book, “Prince Charming Isn’t Coming,” has been out since 1997 and it’s still selling.
Barbara: And, I remember seeing that when I interviewed these women who were smart with money, that their process of becoming ignorant, uneducated to smart, I saw how afraid they were of their power. And I remember interviewing a psychologist who specialized in money, and I said, “Why do you think women are so afraid of their power?” And she said something that gave me chills, and she said, “Because powerful women have been burned at the stake.”
Michelle: Oh, my gosh, yeah.
Barbara: It is in our collective unconscious for generations to hold back our power. Just like for men, it’s to hold back their emotions. For us, it’s to hold back our power. And power comes from doing what’s uncomfortable, doing what you fear. That is how you get confidence, that is how you get your power, doing what you think you can’t do. I ask underearners, “When was the last time you did something you thought you couldn’t do?” And they’ll scratch their head and they’ll think. I ask high-earners and they said, “All the time, it’s a way of life.” There was what I call a higher slogan, “If it’s not illegal or immoral, I just say yes.” And the secret to going to the next level in your life, whether it’s making money or losing weight, it’s always doing what doesn’t feel right, what feels uncomfortable, because success is always found just outside your comfort zone.
So that’s why I feel like for women, just to say, “Do what feels uncomfortable,” for some of us, that’s scary. It’s very scary, no doubt. That’s why it’s important that we have support from others, because as someone I interviewed for my book, “Secrets of Six-Figure Women,” who made seven figures, she said, “Success is a social activity.” That’s why I think it’s so great you’re doing this, Michelle, this education, because we women need support. And the more support we have for doing what we’re uncomfortable to do, the quicker we will build our confidence and step fully into our power.
Michelle: Totally. Totally, I mean, we’ve been just harping on this, not using, you know, those beautiful words that you’ve just used, but, you know, talking about it in a similar fashion. Just over this week, as we were teaching [inaudible 00:13:51] class, and something right now came to mind. And right now, if somebody is trying to step out of the comfort zone, and we all are because we’re being required and we’re being forced right now, all of a sudden, by an economic downturn that has been brought upon by a sudden unexpected pandemic for many, how can women navigate right now this current economic climate that we find and do it with grace but do it smartly as well, and in terms of being okay with being uncomfortable? Because we all are right now, all entrepreneurs are right now, all investors are right now, there’s people that have, you know, lost their shirts in the stock market right now. What are some things that we could, you know…?
Barbara: Right now, this is a gift. It’s a crazy, uncomfortable, painful gift speaking to all of us, it’s saying, “Slow down.” Slow down, take a look at what’s going on inside that could be keeping you from owning your greatness, from fully stepping into your power. And I believe during this time, this is how I’m using it, whatever’s coming up internally, whatever is bubbling up in the surface, whatever fear, whatever insecurity, whatever self-doubt is bubbling up, I want to take that and I want to run with it, and I want to see what it is because whatever it is, this is what is stopping me. It has nothing to do with the eco-…Oh yeah, the economy’s out there, but what the economy is forcing us to do is face our fears to meet our demons. And I [inaudible 00:15:42] this is a purifying and a cleansing process personally so we can [inaudible 00:15:46] what’s coming next.
Michelle: Yes. We have gone through a very cleansing experience in our company, for sure, just, you know, from this, and in our psyche, and in, you know, being fearful about taking certain decisions that we should have taken years before but we never did. You know, and all of a sudden, you’re, like, faced with this, you know, new circumstance and you’re being forced into your greatness, you know, because of the circumstance. So, yeah, definitely, totally, totally with you in that, you know, a gift, for sure.
Barbara: I think we’re all at a choice point here, we are all at a choice point. We could go the old way and repeat the past or we could go the new way and evolve and rewire for a new future. And [crosstalk 00:16:30]…
Michelle: Ooh, I got this. I love this. It gave me, like, chills. “Rewire for a new future,” I love that.
Barbara: My next book, which is coming out in January, is called “Rewire for Wealth.” And I brought in neuroscience, because neuroscience when combined with psychology, spirituality, and personal finance, can be very powerful because it’s not enough to change what we think, we have to change the way our brain is wired because the brain is wired. And our brain is wired by our beliefs, and so, we have to change those beliefs in order to change the wiring of our brain, and how our brain is wired is what causes us to behave in a certain way.
Michelle: Yeah. And continue like that, you know, downward spiral, you know, because of the old programming, and we need to figure out how to, you know, instill, kind of, like, a new operating system, you know what I mean, of beliefs and of connections that the brain is making, yeah.
Barbara: And the way you instill these new operating systems is to respond differently than you normally would. It’s that difficult and that simple. And to keep responding differently over, and over, and over again, that’s the choice point, do you repeat or do you rewire? Do you have the same past and act habitually or do you, at choice point, do you make a new choice to respond differently that’s very uncomfortable and very scary but the reward at the end is your power, is your pleasure, and your prosperity? Ooh, I just did that for the first time.
Michelle: Yes. I can’t wait. So the book is coming up in January?
Barbara: January 12th.
Michelle: Woo. Putting it on my list to buy. That, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a best seller too. Amazing, amazing. Now, has spirituality played a role in your life, and if so, you know, how do you cultivate this faith, you know, on a daily basis?
Barbara: So religion has not played a part.
Michelle: Yeah, the same for me.
Barbara: Spirituality has played a huge part, and it took me seven years to write “Sacred Success” because I was terrified to be a financial expert and talk about the role that spirituality, that my relationship with the divine had on my financial success. Because I believe that financial success is not just a practical process. It is, it is, but it’s also a spiritual practice. And I believe it’s a healing journey. And I believe it’s not just having more money in the bank, it’s who you have to become to become affluent. And that means owning your power, becoming all you are meant to be. And that’s all I believe, that’s one of the things, is this pandemic is an opportunity for us to really check in, “Who am I? Who do I want to be? What is stopping me? What are those fears?” And this is an opportunity for you to really step into your greatness. And I believe the world desperately needs empowered women and enlightened men to work together to heal this planet. And we will heal this planet as we heal ourselves.
Michelle: Yeah, absolutely. And it has to start with our own healing, for sure. And I can see how, you know, the hesitation and, you know, the concern, you know, with you saying that it took you seven years. You know, I’ve always been in an environment that is very left brain, and that it’s all about the profit, the results, the generation of, and a specific outcome. And then, you come with this other more softness and that spirituality inherently has in it when it comes to money. And I remember being a little bit concerned about, “Oh my gosh, what are people going to think?” Because I’m the CFO of my company, I am looking at P&Ls and so on and so forth, and bottom line, and metrics, and so on and so forth. And incorporating that was a big… Yeah, I needed help, I needed the support of others, you know what I mean, in order for me to not be shy and really unapologetically just express the connection that, in private, I could express to my closest people but I wasn’t brave enough to talk about out there like I like I do now. So, yeah, I can totally, totally see that, yeah.
Barbara: So what allowed you to come out of your spiritual closet and just to be authentic?
Michelle: I think, for me, it was…you hit it on the spot earlier. You said, you know, that success is a social thing, and, for me, it was being surrounded by amazing other powerful women that have already stepped into that truth of who, you know, they were and, you know, and who they’re here to serve. And just by demonstration, by seeing it, by being with them, you know what I mean, and watching them do it, and then me thinking, “Oh my gosh, you know, they’re no different than I am. You know, they’re not smarter, but they’re freaking willing to stretch, to meet God halfway,” you know what I mean, in terms of like really embodying that greatness. And so, yeah, it was just surrounding myself with a group of amazing women that really helped me, kind of like, come out of my, you know, turtle shell, if you would. You know, I think that was part of it. And that those convictions, that that truth was worth it, that it mattered, that it had a place in the world, you know what I mean, and so on and so forth. So, yeah, I would say community, for sure, of other amazing women, that helped me.
Now, if you could give a woman right now three pieces of advice, Barbara, and you’ve already dropped incredible gems here, but just, if we were to leave someone with three pieces of advice when it comes to money, power, wealth, what would those be?
Barbara: So, I’ll tell you what I did to really get smart and I continue to do to get even smarter about money.
Barbara: If you would do these three steps every day for four months, you would be amazed at how far you would come because it’s small steps consistently taken that lead to remarkable results. And this is particularly for getting smart or smarter about money or any pieces of real estate, stocks, whatever you want to talk about. Every day, read something about money, even if it’s just for one minute or two, even if you’re just perusing the headlines of the business section of the paper, just, every day. Because so much of getting smart or smarter, it’s just familiarizing yourself with the jargon and with the current trends. So every day read.
Every week, have a conversation about money with someone smarter than you. And I think it is our secrecy and silence as women that keeps us stuck. And so, I started asking anyone, “Well, how did you get smart? What do you recommend I do? What do you recommend I read? What mistakes did you make. What were some of those smart things you did?” We need to start talking about money.
And then, every week, save. Automatically have money set aside from your payroll check or your checking account to a savings account. And when you have an emergency savings of say 6 to 12 months of living expenses, then you can start dollar cost averaging, putting money, every month, into the market.
So, every day, read, every week, talk, every month, save. Wow, wow, it will change your life.
Michelle: Yeah. And I love all three. Number two, I’m like, “Conversations with women that are smarter than you, you know, about finances,” that is so important because it’s not with everyone that you want to have a conversation and, you know, because you might end up homeless if you’re having it with the wrong person. But…
Barbara: I want to say something that has become very pronounced to me, that I want to have more conversations about this, is there’s a difference between being profitable and being wealthy. And I think, we, entrepreneurs, miss that point. We’re so focused on being profitable that we stay on that hamster wheel without the freedom that wealth gives us. So that’s just what I wanted to say. That’s become…
Michelle: And that is a beautiful ending point because real estate is an amazing vehicle to…whether you can either create a job, because you keep on flipping, say a house and you have no residual income and you’re just producing profits but not real passive income for the future, or you can use it as a vehicle to create passive income and stop the grind of the flipping and the rehabbing, and the constant churn and burn, you know what I mean, and start parking that into a portfolio that you invest in for the long-term, that you buy and hold, that it’s going to give you the passive cash flow. We do it with land, even, you know, we sell our land not just for profit, for cash, but we also sell it using seller financing, and, you know, we become the bank. We offer mortgages now and there’s monthly payments coming in, you know, every month from people that, you know, their land payment and so on, so forth. But that’s just the beginning, and then, eventually, you want to start looking into other asset classes that can help you build that wealth so that you’re not in this constant churn and burn, for sure, when your focus is only profit. Totally onboard with that, that’s a gem, for sure.
And something else that came up right now, as you were also saying that is that, you know, a lot of women are given, I think, a lot of defensive advice. And a lot of the information out there is defensive type of information, you know, when it comes to our money versus much more offensive kind of information. When I say offensive, not that you’re out there offending someone but where you’re being much more proactive, you know what I mean? And so, that all wraps beautifully with your number two, which was having conversations with women that are smarter than you when it comes to finances, you know, to being much more proactive versus defensive, you know, and so on and so forth.
So, Barbara, thank you so much for being here with me today at “In Flow.” And if anyone wants to hear more about you, if anyone wants to get, oh my gosh, already on your list, you know, to buy the book or how can people reach you? How can, you know, a woman that is, you know, that resonates with you right now after hearing this interview and wants to connect, how can they reach out to you?
Barbara: The best way is my website, and it’s barbara-huson.com, barbara-huson.com.
Michelle: So I totally butchered you last name when…
Barbara: Totally did.
Michelle: I should have asked.
Barbara: Everybody does.
Michelle: Okay, I have the excuse, I’m not originally from the U.S., but still, I should have asked.
Barbara: No. It’s okay, everybody butchers it.
Michelle: So, now, I know, now I know. So, thank you so much. It has been such an honor, such a pleasure. Like I said, it’s been like a dream come true, you know, to read about someone, to hear about someone, to be, you know, someone that I highly respect, also talk so incredibly highly about you as well and respect you so much. Thank you so, so very much…
Barbara: Thank you.
Michelle: … it’s been such a treat. Thank you so much.
Barbara: Good luck to you.
Michelle: Thank you.
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