The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Successful Single Mom Gets Rich!
Chapter 1: Anything is Possible
“A woman is like a tea bag: you cannot tell how strong
she is until you put her in hot water.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
she is until you put her in hot water.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
According to the 2010 Census, there are 9.9 million single mothers in the U.S. These ladies face challenges many other moms and dads don't. Between managing work and home, financial commitments and extracurricular activities, a single mom's work - alone - is never done.
In addition, most single moms experience a dramatic decrease in their standard of living after a divorce. Statistics show that women experience a 27 percent decrease in their standard of living, while the men have a 10 percent standard of living increase the first year after divorce. I’m not one to dwell on statistics, but I think it’s helpful to have a clear picture.
The good news: that doesn’t have to be your story. It might be for a time or even right now, depending upon your circumstances. Whether you’ve been divorced for a minute or even many years, if you’re still struggling it is understandable that you would still be having a hard time. It’s even expected! Single moms haven’t had a stigma for the past fifty years for nothing!
However, it doesn’t have to be, or stay, your reality. I promise.
One of the reasons I wrote this book is because I believe that regardless of where you start out, anything is possible for you. I want you to start to believe it, and eventually to know it.
I want you to have the tools, strategies and resources to create whatever you want to create. It is possible to achieve your goals, regardless of whether your goals are to be able to support your children with enough money to go to the movies once a month, or to become a millionaire and retire in a few years. In this book, you’ll read about moms who have done both – and everything in between.
I’ve experienced a complete financial transformation since my divorce without the benefit of family support, a college education, or even a basic accounting class. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so I made some interesting mistakes and had long, unnecessary delays. Yet I’ve triumphed in spite of my challenges and very simply, if I can do it, so can you. I want to shorten your journey to financial success and help you avoid some delays and landmines along the way.
Don’t get me wrong: It’s not only about the money. A rich life is full of everything you need, including money. But this book is specifically about getting rich, securing your financial future so you can act from a place of power. Not having enough, almost having enough, having just enough, having more than enough, and having more than enough so you can share what’s left over: all of those situations feel differently, and having been in all of those places, I know for a fact decisions are made differently when you’re in each of those positions.
I’ve heard, “I don’t need millions of dollars …” Great, and that’s true, you don’t. But there’s no shame in wanting millions of dollars. There’s no shame in wanting to have just enough to support your kids and be able to have the occasional treat. If you’re reading this book, I can assume you want to make a positive leap in your financial circumstances, and I’m here to help you get it.
Just know that I’m not “all about the money,” but what I know for sure is that having an abundance of it is helpful in many ways. It’s psychologically reassuring to have a reserve, and eventually, a war chest. It allows you to make your most important life choices from the best possible place.
What does that mean, being able to make choices from a positive place? Well, I’ve been in more than a few conversations with ladies – and not just single moms – who were in, or who had stayed in, relationships because they knew they would have a hard time without “his income.” They put up with crap, settled for less than they deserved, and in many cases felt helpless because they didn’t have enough or more than enough to leave, to start over, to do what their heart desired.
If you’re ready, you can now begin to see what you’ve been doing, even been settling for, and make some steps in the direction you’d really like to go.
So what. Now what?
Your past and your present don’t necessarily predict your future, but they do shape it. We certainly make decisions based upon our points of reference. In fact, many of our actions are automatic because of them! This means that what we saw our parents do and believe around wealth and money, we tend to do ourselves. If our parents believed there was always plenty to go around, we will tend to believe that, too. If they were scared or worried about money, we will tend to do that, too.
My mother was always concerned and worried about money, and my father was always obsessed with making money. My mother would use grocery money for other things, like clothes or extras. My father was envious and jealous of people who had money, and when he had money, he bought lots for himself but almost nothing for his family.
What I learned from them was, frankly, a scarcity mentality. Once I realized I was modeling what I learned, I got to step back and evaluate whether being worried about money all the time was effective or ineffective for me. You get to do the same!
Based on my upbringing, it was no surprise that I married into a less-than-abundant situation. I married a divorced military man with three children, tons of debt and a large child support payment. Because of that, we struggled for years. I learned to do without, settle, and live in a constant state of stress. Several things blasted me out of this lack and limitation, and I’ve used those tools and strategies throughout the years to continually expand my beliefs and reality. (Don’t worry; my personal strategies are covered in this book!)
Thankfully, I was able to get myself to a state of abundance by being open to the possibilities and finding out what worked for me through trial and error. Then I remarried, and my current husband Byron has taught me a lot about thinking even bigger and more abundantly.
For example, I used to shop on a “need to buy” basis. If I “needed” M&Ms, I would buy a single serving pack. If I send my husband to buy M&Ms (or anything else for that matter), he buys the two-pound bag! Then he’ll say, “Well, you’ll eat them eventually won’t you?”
He learned this abundant thinking from his mom. Right after we were married, I asked her to pick me up a lint roller at the grocery store. She came back with twelve!
My thinking was, “I don’t need twelve, I need one.” But wouldn’t you know, since I’ve had them, I’ve used them! Watching my husband and his mom caused me to stop and think about why I never bought more than I needed, from having one pair of basic black heels to almost running out of toilet paper all the time because I didn’t buy more than one pack at a time.
Because of these shifts, when I shop now, I always buy more than enough. The interesting thing is that there’s always enough money to support me buying what I need. What I’ve learned, modeled and observed is all connected. I know that now, but I sure didn’t know that before.
I have had the opportunity to expand my thinking, and in doing so, I’ve noticed it’s positively affected other areas of my life, too.
Not “Right or Wrong” … “Effective or “Ineffective”
As a coach, I don’t live in a world of “right” or “wrong.” I think it’s much better to decide if something is “effective” or “ineffective.”
Is what you’re doing and believing about and around money, wealth, and abundance effective or ineffective for you? Said another way, do you have enough? Do you have more than enough? Are you able to pay the bills with plenty left over? If not, would you like to experience what that it is like to have more than enough?
If so, you must first surrender the past to the past, analyze your beliefs, decide what you want, and get ready for an amazing future.
Didn’t I just make the process sound so easy? In some ways, it really is! If you’re ready, let’s get started.
Honorée turns service providers into rainmakers, average producers into rock-stars, and dreams into reality. For more information on how she can specifically help you or your organization, click here. You can read all about her here.