The values she taught were hard work, creativity, optimism, and discipline. I carry these forward into my coaching of fundraisers, CEO’s and Boards. At home, you had to do your chores before you could do the next fun thing. I and my four siblings all worked at early ages. Most of us had some kind of part time job by the age of twelve or thirteen: babysitting, cleaning out horse stalls, or selling home-made baked goods. We learned that if we wanted money, that’s just what you did.
Leaders in philanthropy have so many lenses to look through in their work but I am a big proponent of seeking clarity and sharing stories around the lens of class, money and the energy one holds around money. My relationship with money started with ‘leaning in’ to opportunities to play with money. I agreed to be Treasurer of my high school class. I said yes to being a bookkeeper and working with real estate investments in my early twenties. I studied sciences and not business in college but I embraced the energy of money in building a foundation, creating three successful businesses, being a steward of people’s gifts and an investor in women’s leadership.
I see money as a channel for numbers and stories and I see money as energy; it comes and goes. I am aware that money has given me access and I see how it gives people power, access to places, spaces, conversations, etc. When I do workshops and invite people to finish the statement - Money means ________, very few women say power or potential. For now, I will leave it to Sheryl Sandberg to tackle women embracing the word and experience of power!
I believe money is a great source of joy and a source of inspiration when used well. There are many transactional experiences that we go through in our society that can be transformed if the transaction comes from a place of joy and gratitude and love. If money could spend more time in people’s hearts, as well as head and gut, it can do more transformational work. Take this as a theme for a week and see if your work is transformed when you approach all conversations around money and resources couched in statements of appreciation, abundance and gratitude.