Stories of women pursing a passion by launching their own business are everywhere. They’re inspiring, encouraging and great reminders for those working in corporate environments of what might be possible ‘over there’.
But passion alone isn’t enough for a great business – unless the business you’re pursuing is a hobby or wealth creation is not a necessity.
This was one of the key messages from wealth strategy and finance expert Barbara Turley at a small event for women’s media this morning, in which she outlined why she believes too many women still feel shame when it comes to talking about money or even expressing an ambition or desire to earn a great living.
“Women often tell me they launched their own business to get the flexibility and freedom they need and crave, and to do work that lights their soul up and that speaks to their values,” Turley explained over breakfast. “When I ask, ‘where does money fit in?’ I get the same response all the time. They tell me, ‘I’m not in business for the money’.
“The problem is that while your vision and purpose is not about money, it’s about passion, freedom, flexibility, and giving back to the world – but business is the engine that drives that. Business is about money. That’s the reality and many women find that extremely difficult to accept.”
Turley believes that if women don’t get money “on their team” and as an integral part of their vision and mission, then they’ll miss gaining the freedom and flexibility they crave. Women may get to do the work that “lights up their soul” but if they’re not being paid properly that light will quickly turn into resentment, overwhelm and eventually burnout.
“The two big fuels of women who’re running successful businesses are passion and money. You need both of those things to be at work. With women at the moment, we’re a little lopsided.”
But shifting one’s thinking about money can be difficult if you’ve been socialised to believe wealth creation is an ugly pursuit.
And, as Turley notes, it doesn’t help that there are very few strong role models presented in the media of women who’re great wealth creators. Indeed, even the profiles we read about inspiring female entrepreneurs often focus on the way they’re pursuing their passions, living flexibility and creatively, rather than how they’re generating serious wealth.
Turley made the comments in line with the launch of her ‘Get Savvy Academy’, an online financial program for women.
She spoke of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ energy, and how we’re seeing too much of the former in the financial services industry and not enough of the latter in business. They’re generalisations, she admits, but things she’s observed in her more than 15 year career trading with some of the world’s largest investment banks.
Turley adds that the World Bank and Harvard Business Review have both said women are a greater economic force than the economies of China and India put together. There’s significant potential there that can drive up quality of life and fix some of the globe’s current economic woes.
“If we can unlock an entire generation of women to think differently around money, to think differently around business and investing, you can imagine the knock-on effect around the world. But only if we do it to bring balance back into our world.”
While we’d love to think passion alone can create the success and life we desire, there’s much more required. Get comfortable with money. It’s ok to make it, to talk about it, and to put it to work. It’s the ultimate resource for creating personal freedom and for doing some good in the world.