CHAPTER 1: BEING A BOSS LADY
I was pretty sure I was going to pee my pants.
My heart was pounding out of my chest as the car I drove reached 140 mph. Spying the giant turn looming ahead, I wondered if I’d survive this.
I touched the gas a little more before easing the BMW M5 towards the inside of the turn. Would I be able to catch the car in front of me? He was going so fast, but I had to stay with him. I quickly checked the rearview mirror to see no one behind me. Sweet, no cops!
You know how sometimes in the movies, a super scary or chaotic event will suddenly go in super slow motion? That’s what happened to me. As I rounded the turn, the tires slid off the pavement and for a second I could feel the earth beneath the car. I held my breath, hoping I wouldn’t hit anything. Somehow, I righted the vehicle and the road straightened out. I smashed the gas again, willing the M5 to give its all.
Thirty seconds later, I screeched to the finish line of the track, where my coworker was waiting for me.
“So, how’d you like learning to drive a race car?” he asked.
I smiled and teased, “Want to go again?”
I am a Boss Lady and a badass. I think the two are basically the same. I’ve called myself a Boss Lady for years, but one day, curious, I decided to Google it. I found several definitions, but the two that resonated with me the most were:
1. “A woman who goes fiercely after what she wants, who knows building a business is just as important as building a life, and cheers for other Boss Ladies along the way. (Oh, and she doesn’t take shit from anyone.)”
2. “The woman in charge.”
A woman in charge, but of what?
For me, a Boss Lady is someone in charge of her life: all aspects of it. A woman who knows what she wants and goes for it. A lady who isn’t afraid to stand out, and continually seeks knowledge that’ll help her grow.
Boss Ladies hail from all different backgrounds and cultures. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find them in every industry. They are stay-at-home moms, fitness instructors, crafting gurus, CEOs, fundraisers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, web designers, entertainers, influencers, fashion divas, hippies, wives, daughters, and friends.
Boss Ladies are not afraid to take risks, and even when they fall, they get back up. Boss Ladies jump on the opportunity to learn more, try more, be more.
If you picked up this book, then you, my sweet new friend, are a Boss Lady or the very least, a Boss-Lady-in-the-Making. YEAH!
I am fortunate to know a lot of Boss Ladies, and almost all of them are smart, hard working, and driven to crush it in their industry.
But here’s the thing…
For the last 15 years, I’ve been nagged by a consistent thought: “Why do women, even my Boss Lady friends, seem to have no interest in understanding money?”
Of all my Boss Lady pals, only a handful know what a retirement plan is and how it works—or worse yet, even have one. If I ask them what tax bracket they’re in, I get a blank stare in return. Half of my friends in their 40s can’t tell me how much their mortgage rate is, what they owe, or when their home will be paid off.
Boss Ladies, COME ON. That is not okay! I know money isn’t everything, but those are basic fundamentals of your own financial picture. You should know them.
I call bullshit on this ignorance. If you’ve been ignorant up to this moment, that’s okay—but no more. It’s time to get educated about finances and empowered to take control of your financial future—yours and yours alone. It’s time for you to take the reins of your life and start building your future and your fortune.
Before we go any further, let me clarify a few things:
1. You don’t have to have a ton of money to be a Boss Lady--but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
2. You can absolutely be happy without a ton of money.
3. There is nothing—I repeat, nothing--wrong with wanting money and success.
4. It is okay to talk about money.
For centuries, it’s been taboo for women to talk about or openly desire money. Those days are long gone, sister.
Here’s why money is awesome:
1. IT HELPS YOU LIVE A BETTER QUALITY LIFE
I LOVE life…like seriously, I love life. I love everything about it, and I want my life to be as long as possible. Money pays for health care and affords me the ability to eat healthy foods, try new exercise activities to stay in shape and interested in fitness, and de-stress with massages and vacations. Money allows me to do the same for my family.
2. IT ENABLES YOU TO LIVE A MORE FUN LIFE
I live for adventure and travel. My passion to see the world is insatiable, and I love trying new experiences. Whether it’s skydiving, flyboarding, Spartan races, cruises, Airbnb-ing in exotic locales, safaris in Africa, snowboarding in Breckinridge, or scuba diving in Belize…if I’m not actively doing it, I’m dreaming about it, planning for it, and working my ass off towards it. Money lets me do those things, and bring other people along as well.
3. IT PUTS YOU IN A POSITION TO HELP OTHERS
Nothing is more fulfilling to me than helping others who are passionate about what they do chase their dreams. Whether it’s a friend starting a small business or someone looking for a job, I’m thrilled that I can help them with cash, ideas, and connections. Money allows me to employ people so that they can provide for their families.
4. IT BESTOWS UPON YOU THE SUPERPOWER OF GENEROSITY
I firmly believe that charitable giving and contributing to your community is every human’s moral responsibility. Being financially able to donate to my local animal shelter, disabled adults, and needy kids at Christmas in a meaningful way is one of the greatest joys of my life. (Plus, it’s practical—I LOVE animals, but if I bring home one more dog, I think my husband might just move out. Money lets me help animals all over the country without having to bring each and every one into my own home…though trust me, I’d like to.)
5. IT GIVES YOU POWER
There are no two ways about it: money (and knowledge about money) gives you power. I don’t want my daughter Kiki to grow up believing that men are in charge of money. That’s some antiquated old-school bullshit and I—and the modern world at large—don’t have time for it. I want her to be empowered with the knowledge to make smart choices about the money she earns. I want her to speak up for herself in financial situations and make informed decisions that are hers and hers alone.
Ultimately, money gives you freedom. Freedom to make your own choices, without having to answer to anyone else—not your parents, not your husband, not your wife. Just you.
Freedom to chase your dreams, whatever they are.
Freedom to live the life you’ve always desired.
That’s why I love money. For me, it’s not about flashy cars, bling, or name brands—though if that’s your thing, that’s okay. (Everyone’s a diva about something; we’ll talk about that later.)
So how’d I get enough cold hard cash to become a millionaire by the time I was 40?
I didn’t marry rich. I’ve inherited squat. I don’t work for a big fancy company. I can assure you I’ve never invented anything, except maybe a few creative swear word smashups when I’m frustrated. I definitely haven’t won the lottery…dammit.
I did it the old fashioned way: I educated myself, and then I worked my ass off.
Both of my parents started their lives in trailer parks, and worked their asses off to become hugely successful. Neither of them went to college, as not only was it something they couldn’t afford, it just wasn’t ever talked about as an option. With a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice, they both became tremendously successful on each of their own paths.
At a young age, I decided to educate myself about money and apply the things I learned in my daily life. You’ve taken the first step to do the very same, just by picking up this book. I’m going to teach you everything I know—well, all the fundamentals at least.[*]
By the end of this book you’ll know enough to understand the basics about money:
· how to get more of it
· what to do once you have it
· how to live within your means
· how to make choices in your career and personal life that will serve you, and
· how to get out (and stay out) of debt.
I promise I’ve done my best to make it as interesting as possible. I give real-life examples wherever I can to help you understand how things could play out in your own life. I share a lot of my personal experiences within these pages…the good, the bad, and the very, very ugly.
It doesn’t matter what generation you come from or how old you are. It’s never too late and never too early to learn about money and how to use it. I challenge you to commit to the following pages, and regardless of where you currently are in your financial journey, I promise you’ll come away with at least a little more knowledge.
Darlings, you owe it to yourself to learn these things. It is no longer your husband’s job to “take care of the finances” and leave you totally in the dark. (Because guess what? Spouses can die, couples get divorced, and then what?)
It might be tough in the beginning—but how much tougher is it going to be if you don’t take the time to educate yourself? Boss Lady, you deserve to live the life of your dreams—and that doesn’t come by being afraid of, or confused by, money and finances.
When you’re done, I hope you’ll reach out to me at TheBossLadyInvestor.com and share your story! After all, I wrote this book for you. I owe every bit of the woman I have become to my amazingly supportive parents, who serve as incredible role models for me. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a similar situation. Maybe not. But you’ll have me, because lady, I will be rooting for you along the way.
I want to hear all about your challenges and your successes, and how you handled them. My goal is to create a community of Badass Boss Ladies that are passionate about learning, growing, and supporting each other. I can’t wait to see what you do out there.
Let’s get started!
[*] I plan to write several more books that dive more deeply into certain areas I’m very experienced in (like starting a business and investing in real estate).