We need to talk about money.
Our careers depend on it. Yet, the topic of money is often shrouded in secrecy, considered uncouth or taboo.
Here’s the deal: When we fail to ask for what we want, we undercut our potential. When we accept less than we’re worth, we undermine our power. When we don’t negotiate, we stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over the length of our careers. When we assume a career change means taking a pay cut, we miss out on the opportunities to do something different that pays even more.
And it’s not just about earnings. Our limiting beliefs about money, happiness, and self-worth are intertwined. How we feel about ourselves translates to what we think we deserve, financially and otherwise.
It’s possible to do what you love, be creative, do good, and get paid. Let’s bring money into the light.
Below is a list of resources that have helped me (and many of my clients) get paid to do work we love, build a healthy relationship with money, and strengthen the relationship with ourselves in the process.
This page contains affiliate links, which means if you use them to purchase items, I earn a few cents at no extra charge to you. I'd love it if you chose to support me in this way, but you can always look them up on your own.
Get Your Financial House In Order
Money, A Love Story by Kate Northrup
This is my go-to resource for anyone interested in unpacking how their money beliefs hold them back.
This book is jam-packed with practical exercises and wisdom to help you understand and rewrite your money story. We all have a relationship with money (mostly unhealthy due to lessons we learned early in life). The sooner we understand that relationship, the sooner we can take action to get what we truly want out of our careers and lives.
I don't relate at all to Kate's personal story of growing up so privileged that she amassed a huge amount of debt in her early 20s. That part was a bit rich (pardon the pun), but my strong reaction to her story helped me pinpoint and rewrite my own limiting money assumptions.
This book transformed the way I think about money. Robert uses the story of his own father (Poor Dad) and that of his friend (Rich Dad) to shatter our most commonly-held beliefs about money. He explains financial concepts through clever, easy-to-remember frameworks that will challenge your thinking on earning, saving, and spending.
I credit this book for finally helping me leave corporate to start my own business, since my fears around money and misconceptions about building wealth were keeping me handcuffed to my paycheck.
Robert also convinced me to invest in my life-long financial education. Money matters big and small can seem daunting when emotions get involved. We can easily bury our heads in the sand or throw up our hands when it gets too complicated. Spending a little bit of time over a long period to educate yourself works just like compound interest. Building your knowledge base also helps you evaluate when you need to bring in a paid professional.
This book is a great primer for anyone interested in breaking out of the Rat Race and taking control of their financial destiny.
Women & Money by Suze Orman
Finance books tend to go deep on one aspect of financial health—saving or investing or budgeting, etc. I like this book because it provides a holistic view of what we can do now to avoid the many pitfalls that can haunt us later.
In the first half of the book, Suze draws a link between our self-worth and net-worth, offering a ton of stats and anecdotal evidence to back up all the ways women give away our power. The second half gets into her “Financial Empowerment Plan,” a practical step-by-step guide packed tools, questions, trackers and calculators.
It’s a great read wherever you are in your financial journey with equal focus on internal and external steps.
I love Suze’s no-nonsense approach, compassionately yet firmly guiding women to make responsible financial decisions so we can fully embrace our potential. She’s like the tough, cool aunt that you’re kind of scared of but also respect. She believes in women and wants them to be the bosses they are—not just at work but in life.
Mint by Intuit (budget tracking website/app)
Probably the most important money move you can make is tracking how your money moves. Whether you’re trying to cut expenses, pay down debt, or save for something special, the first step is to account for every. single. penny.
I use Mint because it’s free, it’s automatic, and it has a ton of flexibility to drill down, categorize, and forecast. If you’re squeamish about connecting your accounts online, I get it. I tracked everything manually in a homemade Excel workbook for over 10 years. I don’t care how you do it as long as you do it.
If you want to be a true boss in your career, lead by taking control of your money.
Personal Capital (investment tracking website/app)
Personal Capital is another free, fantastic resource to track your investments down to the penny. If you’re like me and have your money spread across 401ks, IRAs, Roths, and other random holdings at various institutions, Personal Capital pulls everything together in one place. Then you can slice and dice the data in all kinds of helpful ways.
This site has a wealth of tools to understand how your investments are doing, with ongoing free recommendations to make sure your money is working for you. I love that I can drill down into the holdings of a single fund or see the big picture of everything combined.
Check out their free Retirement Planner, Investment Checkup tool, and Fee Analyzer. P.S. If you add at least one investment account with a balance of $1000+ using the link above, we both get $20. I KNOW! Check it out!
Greater Self-Worth Leads To Higher Net Worth
You already know that money doesn’t buy happiness. But increasing your self-worth, knowing your value, and acting accordingly puts you on a solid path to getting what you want—whether that’s money or something else.
I finally read this after several clients told me how much they got out of it. I was not disappointed.
From start to finish, this book delivers a ton of solid advice about what holds us back and what to do about it.
Jen explains her own journey from cynical disbeliever to self-help convert. The book delivers a one-two punch of humorous anecdotes and practical steps to help you get over your own BS and make stuff happen. With chapter titles like, “Loincloth Man” and “Fear Is for Suckers,” the author cheers you on with her enthusiastic, yet wry if-I-can-do-this-crap-so-can-you attitude.
If I made a required reading list for my clients, this book would be at the top.
Thoughts of avoidance, conflict, and scarcity compound our money problems. Gratitude is not putting a happy face on our money woes—that’s denial. Gratitude is focusing on what’s working well as a foundation for creating more. It’s one of the 3 essential ingredients to career success and a critical money habit.
Happiness Is…One Happy Thing Every Day. A Three-year Journal by Ralph Lazar and Lisa Swerling