This week I’m finishing up The Language of Money course personally taught by Anne McKevitt. Anne is an incredible self-made woman who has overcome enormous obstacles to get to where she is today. Just to give you an idea of what I mean when I say incredible, Anne is a member of President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative, and she sits on the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard, only to name two from a very large list of accomplishments. Past clients include Queen Noor of Jordan, Sir Elton John, Queen of Spain, Emma Thompson, and Sophia Loren. Okay, now I have your attention.
Obstacles she overcame include fearlessly leaving home and school at the age of 15 to begin working in London, and overcoming injuries from a serious car crash from which doctors told Anne she would never walk again. Paul and Linda McCartney, also former clients, funded alternative treatments for Anne and she did indeed recover. Not only did she recover, she went on to build a billion dollar empire that she heads, and is instrumental in numerous global humanitarian initiatives.
It would be embarrassingly obvious to state that Anne is a Financial Woman, which is any woman who embraces her financial responsibilities, so that is not where I’m going with this. There are, however, several points I want to share from Anne’s course. First, I knew right when I learned that Anne was teaching this money course that it was a wonderful opportunity to get to actually interact with this brilliant woman and receive wonderful insights. Are there opportunities in your life that you’ve missed? If so, make a list of what they are, why you missed them, and what you can do the next time an opportunity comes around to enhance your knowledge and your life. I think that this is often only a matter of committing and putting it in your planner.
Second, even though Anne grew up in a rural area of Scotland in basic government housing, she was able to develop a mindset of wealth around money. Her first job in London was working at a high end hair salon. Every day she worked with clients who were very wealthy from businesses or professions that they had created. Being in this culture of success and prosperity, she said it didn’t occur to her that she could fail. This was a real ah-ha moment for me. What am I not doing because deep down I fear failure? What could you do in your life with that affirming attitude?
Third, Anne emphasized the importance of conscious spending. Her course included a strong focus on watching where your money goes, and seeking out ways that you can reduce your expenses to spend more wisely. While I consider myself a very conscious spender, I am always amazed at someone with Anne’s level of wealth that still gets this piece; Spend consciously and don’t be wasteful. How basic is that? It’s easy to fall into sloppiness around this practice once you accumulate wealth. After years of overblown spending, especially in the United States, the financial crisis we are still experiencing is calling us to return to that timeless principle around money of spending consciously and wisely.
As you can see, these points are not just about money; they are about life, but aren’t the two so entangled? To be able to live as you dream of living and help others along their journey is about both life and money. Embrace the opportunities you have to create and reach your financial goals and also to contribute to society with both your financial gifts and talents.