If getting your finances in order and making some real money is one of your priorities in 2015, Jude Miller Burke, author of new book, The Millionaire Mystique: How Working Women Become Wealthy – And How You Can, Too! has 7 secrets you can steal from women who have already made it
Psychologist Dr Jude Miller Burke sought to find out why only a handful of women seem to make it to the top of the business ladder. She interviewed over 100 female millionaires to find out if there were psychological reasons for their success. She found that there were very few psychological differences between very successful men and women, blowing the gender inequality line out of the water. The differences she found were between the attitudes and personalities of highly and averagely successful people. Here are 7 things that female millionaires do differently to the rest of us that help them rise to the top:
Miller Burke interviewed over 100 female millionaires to find out if there were psychological reasons for their success
- They’re graciously assertive
Wealthy women ask for what they want, every time. It is a little intimidating, especially at first, to always speak up for yourself. But not asking can be rough on your self-esteem, particularly when you feel you have earned whatever it is you desire. The key to being graciously assertive is to identify what is bothering you about any situation and decide how it could be resolved to your satisfaction. If you don’t feel comfortable asking for that specific solution, role play with a friend until you can ask with humour and casualness. That way you can be gracious in your request, never stridently demanding. Also practice asking for big things by requesting little ones: ‘Boss, I’d like a couple of hours off on Friday to see my daughter play soccer,’ or ‘I’d like to take the lead in that next presentation.’ If the answer is no, gather your facts and ask again later. Steely persistence with a smile also qualifies as gracious.
- They project charisma
Charisma is often a reflection of the confidence we have in ourselves and our abilities, a reason why it is a quality often associated with high achievers. Charismatic people believe in their worth to such an extent that they want to enthusiastically share their dreams and hopes with others. But you do not have to be a millionaire yourself to be charismatic. You just have to believe in the larger purpose of what you are doing, feel enthusiasm about what you plan to achieve, and be willing to share your enthusiasm with others.
- They laugh at themselves
Women, especially high achievers, sometimes feel so much pressure at home and at work that they miss opportunities to develop better working relationships with others by just sharing a laugh with them. But millionaire women give themselves permission to be light-hearted. Because that’s what humour is: the glue that helps connect people and makes it more fun to come back to work every day. Best of all, you may find yourself developing better solutions to problems if you just laugh off your serious self and allow yourself to think more freely.
- They believe in their own success
A key personality aspect of women who rise to high levels of success is believing that they are worthy of it. Psychologists call this the ‘high core self-evaluation’ and is made up of high self-esteem, belief in your own skills and a feeling of being in control of your destiny.
How can you build up this feeling for yourself? Learn to feel ‘big’ – that is, confident and successful. Make a list of your weekly accomplishments that give you pride. Note the areas that make you feel exceptionally confident. You should also include on your list those situations where you felt nervous going in but scored a victory that sent your confidence soaring.
- They get Engaged
Not in the way you think… Even if they are not passionate about a particular task, successful people industriously and enthusiastically get the job done. There is an intensity about everything they take on that is not seen in the average person. Focus is the important word here. They can focus because they have a deep understanding of why they are doing each task and how it will bring them to a worthwhile goal. Doing a boring project for a boss you want to impress helps you become engaged, but an engaged person will also be thinking of ways to accomplish the task in a better way.
- They welcome conflict
Welcome conflict. If you are not comfortable with conflict, it’s going to hurt your chances of advancement. Practice assertiveness and conflict management techniques. Plenty of people are willing to argue politics these days, for instance. Just prepare yourself with some facts and see what happens. Talk to people outside your work circles about that topic or anything else controversial they want to discuss. Jamie Thorsen, former Global Head of Foreign Exchange Products at BMO Capital Markets lamented that too few women learn the art of healthy debate from their fathers or mothers. ‘Women generally do not like to work in an environment of conflict, and I think that is a reason they have not done better in the workplace. Men can have significant conflict, agree to disagree, and move on. Women tend not to be able to do that,’ Thorsen said.
Wealthy women can take control of what they choose to be stressed out about and not get bogged down in the small stuff.
- They take Control
Having a sense of control over what happens in your life is the key to establishing and maintaining a balanced life. My research for Millionaire Mystique has shown that wealthy, successful women tend to be able to step back and ask themselves why they are making the decisions they are making, therefore giving them control over their decisions. They are more aware of their strengths and weaknesses, accept responsibility for both their triumphs and mistakes and see change not as frightening but as an opportunity for growth and excitement. They can take control of what they choose to be stressed out about and not get bogged down in the small stuff. They can focus on the most important issues and solve it, before moving on to the next one methodically.
Click here to buy your copy of The Millionaire Mystique: How Working Women Become Wealthy – And How You Can, Too! by Jude Miller Burke, (£12.08), (published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing).