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.

 
 “When we undervalue what we do, the world undervalues who we are. How we behave toward our money, how we treat our money, speaks volumes about how we perceive and value ourselves.”—Suze Orman

“When we undervalue what we do, the world undervalues who we are. How we behave toward our money, how we treat our money, speaks volumes about how we perceive and value ourselves.”—Suze Orman

 
 
 

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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.

 

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

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.

 
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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!

 
 Check out these practical guides to help you work through the most common money challenges I see with my career coaching clients.

Money Mindset by Caroline Adams

Check out these practical posts to help you work through the most common money challenges I see with my career coaching clients. Don’t see your question answered? Get in touch.

 
 

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.

You Are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

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.

Note: Jen recently released a book called “You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth.” I haven’t read it yet. I welcome your reviews if you have.

 
 

Cultivating Abundance

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

The best way to cultivate abundance—monetary or otherwise—is to practice gratitude. This book is a 3-year journal dedicated to helping you do just that. Aside from some simple illustrations, each page is simply a date with three blank spaces.

My biggest challenge is scarcity. The idea that I don’t have “enough” comes up repeatedly with money and in life. The low-commitment task of just writing one gratitude each day helped me quickly build a habit and eventually flip my mindset. Now, my brain almost instantly reframes most complaints. I’m so much better at noticing all the things that are going my way, especially the little things I used to take for granted. Of course, my scarcity mindset still shows up. I’m just much better at recognizing and telling it to sit back down.

My mom gifted me this book when I was really struggling in Corporate. Entries like, “I stayed calm when I wanted to run out of the room,” and “Tomorrow is Thursday,” reveal some particularly low points. I love looking back to remind myself where I was on a particular day 1, 2, 3 years ago. It’s like a time capsule of emotion.

Whether you buy a book or just practice writing your gratitudes daily on a piece of scrap paper, it’s a total game-changer and perspective-shifter.

 

The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration by Moorea Seal

I love this book! Gifted to me by a work friend around the same time as “Happiness Is…” Are you sensing a theme here?!

Filling out one list a week became a cherished ritual during a really tough work time. I dated each entry, so I’d have a snapshot of where I was. Every now and then, I’ll flip back through to see what’s changed or remained the same.

The book is divided into 13 lists for each of the four seasons. After each list, there’s a prompt for further exploration or gentle nudge to take action. If you’re a lover of lists and/or a seeker of inspiration, this is the book.