Awhile back I attended an invite-only “Most Influential CEOs and Entrepreneurs Under 35” conference in Aspen. Not surprisingly out of the 115 people attending, only about 15 were women. Sadly, I think we have come to expect that women just aren’t in the top tiers of business, or there are so few that they typically make up less than five percent of any statistic.
I was fascinated by the social experiment that lay before me. What was it about this room full of insanely successful (especially for their age) young men? It took me back to seventh grade when Ryan Hatch asked Kara Crow to the Valentine's Day dance and I was left wondering, what does she have that I don'��t? (Well a lot, given he ended up marrying that gorgeous girl- haha) However, the same question lingered in my mind as I watched a band of money-making monkeys doing tequila shots at the bar: what do they have that all those girls don't?
It wasn't until I had a conversation with one of the boys and I consciously wrote "boy" because he'��s barely able to legally drink, but he and a group of his friends created potentially one of the most influential and elite organizations to date. But it wasn't until we chatted that new light was shed on my query.
Yeah I've never understood it, in college my best girl friends were always the smartest people I knew, he said. ��The only difference was that all my guy friends and I were always scheming, figuring out how to make money selling T-shirts, or hosting poker games. All we ever talked about was money and how we could make more of it.
That'��s when it dawned on me and I started asking all my girl friends, my mom, sisters-in-law, women in the Starbucks line, any chick who would talk to me, why don't we talk about money? Most of the responses had something to do with the image of a girl associated with being "��money hungry." It'��s like it if we'��re money-conscious then we're some heartless, maniacal, man-eating bitch. Instead, we are focused on getting dolled up, about why the Ryan Hatch'��s of the world didn't ask us to the dance and discussing our latest diet endeavors as though narcissism is a more acceptable reputation than greed.
I am so far from preaching about this from some soap box because the moment I realized the necessity of money being a priority in my life, it occurred to me that in creating and running this company, I have spent less than five percent of my time and attention on our finances. Are you kidding me?!?! A completely unacceptable, but great realization.
Now, I don'��t know what kind of girl you are and whether you a��re a fighter, but I am. I had a quarterlife epiphany and it could not have come at a better time. I know nothing about money. I don't know how to make it, save it, invest it and as an adult it'��s important, but as a business owner it'��s ESSENTIAL.
Here'��s the deal. I had a male business executive tell me once, Money is a tool and no, it doesn't buy happiness but it��s a pretty damn good down payment on it,�� I have to agree. Maybe I don'��t need oodles of money, but money is freedom and independence to be and do what you want, when you want, because you want. And the beauty is that money and passion are not mutually exclusive.
I a��m on a mission to soak up years of lost "��college scheming" experience and bolster my money savvy. You may want to jump on this bandwagon because we're on a mission to move mountains, very expensive ones.
Images courtesy of Hr.duke.edu, Michelelawrence.biz