Posts Tagged ‘Balance’

Woman Shares The One Decision That Made Her a Millionaire Before Age 40

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

millionaire roadWhile many women are not millionaires and don’t necessarily have aspirations of becoming millionaires, many women are interested in becoming financially independent and having financial freedom. The mistake that many women make is that they desire financial freedom and may even think they have it but still depend on either a job or a man to provide it. While having a great job with adequate pay is good, people lose their jobs all the time. The same applies to being with a man who is an excellent provider; unfortunately, some marriages do end in divorce.

Below, Laurie Itkin, writing for shares the decision that helped make her a millionaire before the age of 40:

My grandparents on my father’s side were poor. I was 24 when my paternal grandmother died, and she left me $1,600. Although I wanted to spend that windfall on things that most young women like to spend money on (like clothes and shoes), I knew I needed to begin investing for my future. I was employed but had already been laid off twice and concluded that I couldn’t count on a man or a job to provide financial stability. I had to build a financial cushion myself.

In thinking about whether I would save or invest that $1,600, there was only one clear choice: invest in the stock market. I recalled an eye-opening chart presented by Wharton Professor Jeremy Siegel when I was studying finance that demonstrated that over the long run (despite its short term risk of going down) the stock market generated higher returns than other asset classes, such as bonds or certificates of deposit. Because I was in my mid-20s, I had quite a long time horizon and knew that stocks were the place I wanted to invest my cash.

The decision I made to invest that $1,600 (not merely save it) was the most important wealth-building decision I made in my life. It is the reason I became a millionaire before I turned 40, a feat that would not have been possible had I chosen to keep that money in the bank.

That’s why I feel sad when I read articles about the large numbers of millennials who are shunning the stock market and keeping their money in cash. It’s a mathematical fact that you can’t grow your money by keeping it in a mattress or in a bank account earning close to zero percent. But according to a recent Wells Fargo study, only half of millennial women agree that the stock market is the best place to invest for retirement, and only 9 percent are saving at least one-tenth of their income.

I’m doing my part to change that trend. If I can inspire just one more percent of women to not only save more of their income — but to invest it in the stock market — imagine the millions of dollars of wealth that we as women can build on our own.

Was it easy to go from $1,600 to $1 million in just 15 years? Did I get lucky on one stock pick that doubled in value every year? Of course not. I had to regularly add money I earned at work to my brokerage and retirement accounts. It wasn’t easy, but it also wasn’t as hard as you might think.

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How “Side Hustles” Are Creating a New Face For Life Balance

Friday, September 26th, 2014

side-hustleAbout half a century ago, most people who got a job counted on the 4o-40-40 plan; you work a job for 40 hours a week and retire and live on 40% of your income. Now, most people understand that plan may not be the best plan. People change their jobs more frequently and companies lay of people more easily than than they used to.

There is now a trend of having a job as well as a “side hustle” which is basically having a second and typically smaller income, usually from an entrepreneurial venture.

According to Jaimee Ratliff, writing for

If you’re feeling like your days are blending together and you’re unsure of how to maintain it all, here’s how you can make time for work-life balance when your side-hustles are your life:

Wake up a little earlier. This is a strategy that will never get old. We all want to hit the snooze button one three times before we get up to face the day, but challenge yourself to start waking up 30 minutes earlier. As a huge believer in being well rested, I’m not a big fan of the “no sleep” movement that some people swear will skyrocket you to success. With just an extra half-hour, you are able to get at least one thing scratched off that ever growing to-do list whether it’s getting a quick cardio session in, completing the intro of an article or sending out a few emails.

Prioritize realistic goals for each week. As much as we want to be a superhero and get everything done at once, it just isn’t possible—or realistic. Take some time at the beginning of each week to decide what small tasks should be completed in order to meet the deadline of a larger project. It’s best to break action items up into smaller chunks instead of trying to do everything upfront or waiting until the last minute and frantically piecing everything together.

Focus on one thing. I’ve had countless conversations with friends who are multi-passionate like me, and I’ve learned that it’s natural to want to pursue everything at once or maybe because you have so many interests, you’re unsure of what your key focus should be. I have a big fear that if I focus too much on one thing, I’m telling my other passions “I’m just not that into you”—which is really not the case at all. What I’m learning right now is, if you try to focus on everything, you’re really focusing on nothing. Taking the time to explore one or two projects work out best because it allows you to decide if what you’re pursuing is something you truly enjoy. If so, you will be able to dedicate more time to doing a good job at mastering what you love.

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ME TIME: What every woman needs and every woman should have

Friday, April 29th, 2011

A few weeks ago, as I sat in my office at the college at 6:30 in the morning, I began to have a nose bleed. *Gruesome story Alert: Naturally, I jumped out of my chair and raced to the bathroom. I leaned into a sink, hoping that the nose bleed would stop in a couple of minutes. It didn’t! It got worse! I have never seen so much blood in my life. It was out of control.

After about 15 minutes of waiting for this out of control nose-bleed to stop, I realized that maybe it wasn’t going to stop so I took a huge wad of paper towels and held it to my nose. It took only a few minutes to soak through and then I needed another one, and another and another…

Eventually, another woman who happened to be in the vicinity became aware of my predicament and she being in administrative role at the college, knew exactly what to do. A few minutes later, I was sitting in my office with two paramedics and a whole lot more attention than I wanted. They took my blood pressure and it was the highest that it has ever been in my life! I’m so grateful that I was sitting in my desk chair because I was now also feeling a bit light headed and could not think clearly. Even in my foggy haze, all I could think about was my lecture at 8:30am and my long list of “things to do”! I never made it to the lecture because I was in no condition to teach anybody anything!

A few hours later I was sitting on a hospital bed nodding my head as the doctor told me that, according to his examination, and based on what I told him, there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. The only prescription that he gave me was to “take it easy” for a couple of days. And so I did…

This is what I have learned,or more rather, been reminded of: “ME time” is not a luxury, it is an essential part of a balanced life. In the weeks leading up to my dramatic episode, I had been looking at my “ME time” as a luxury that I could not afford to indulge in. After all, I have a husband, children, hundreds of college students, I’m writing a book, I have an Audio program in production, I’m writing a new course for Black Women at the college, I had to go to a seminar to get certified for one of my courses, my website and blog needed updating, I had to make plans for the conference in Atlanta, get my National Speakers Association membership processed and on and on and on! All these list items are very important and yes, they needed to be done, but so did “ME time”! In leaving out just one vital thing, ME time, almost everything else was almost jeopardized by the breakdown of my physical body.

My body spoke to me in three ways:
1. An out of control nose-bleed
2. Unbelievably high blood pressure
3. Light-headedness resulting in an inability to think clearly

Here is what I was forced to hear: out of control, high pressure and foggy thinking. Operating this way could not sustain the level of Excellence that I hold myself to.

As I look back at the last four months of my life, there has been such a whirlwind of activity that I can’t believe that one person (me) accomplished it all! The accomplishments are great, but I find myself wondering if it is all worth it. If we push ourselves, physically and emotionally, so much that our physical body starts to get weary and our emotional well-being starts to decline, it is time to stop!

I firmly believe that without taking time away from our busy work and home lives, we do ourselves a huge disservice and we also hurt, rather than help, our loved ones and those that we have professional relationships with. Most women, me included, wear so many hats in their lives that they never take the time to just take off all the hats and attend to the person under all those hats.

I woke up early this morning and while my family slept, I had two full hours of quiet and peace and it has soothed my soul and satiated my spirit. My thinking is clearer and my whole being is at peace. I’ve, once again, been reminded just how vital and valuable “ME Time” is.

So, my friends take some time for YOU. It is not a luxury; it is essential. If you don’t, please don’t hesitate to call me when you need a ride to the clinic or the hospital-that’s what friends are for! But on a serious note, take time to relax and rejuvenate. You’ll be glad (and at peace) that you did.

PS: If your friends, employers, husbands and other family members complain or ask why you need this (and they will), just tell them because “Noma said so!”