Archive of ‘Money Mindset’ category

The Irony of Self-Reliance

When I got married and changed my last name to Leatherman from Schuler my mom, a New York newspaper editor, wrote an article lamenting that she should have taken me to more NOW rallies and less shopping malls. She worried about me losing my identity. And many years later when I left my steady job to be home with my babies, she worried even more.

“Always be able to take care of yourself” and “never depend on anyone else to take care of YOU” are lessons that run deep.

I also recognize that we women are born with fierce independence. My 9-year old daughter hates having things done for her. If my southern-born husband opens the car door for her, she will step back until he “get’s out the way!” and there have been more than a few occasions where she’s closed the door and reopened it herself.

And so for many years there is a sentence in my bio and in our mission here at Wise:

“Kiva is passionate about teaching women to be self-reliant with their resources of time, money and intellectual capacity.”


And it’s true – I imagine an ideal world where no one stays in a job they hate, or a bad relationship or compromised in any way to have their needs met.

Everyone of us deserves freedom. And the ability to make money is the keystone to freedom. When we can take care of ourselves we have choice.

friends at the beach AND… now that I’ve created this for myself (and get to enjoy the confidence that comes with the day that you realize that you could lose everything and still take care of yourself and your family – no problem)…

I realized the other day that I am MORE reliant on other people than EVER.

The bigger Wise gets, and the more women who gather here in this house of Truth, Community and Actual in-the-flesh results – the more I require tending.

I’m learning to allow others to take care of me. To let me be the one being supported instead of always supporting.

And even with my clients, being SUPPORTIVE instead of THE SUPPORT (which, btw, is WAY more empowering for them).

With a LIVE 3-day Event coming up, and history of getting REALLY sick after live events, I asked myself “What would it look like for me to NOT get sick?”

It looks like my husband coming with me to Los Angeles and holding me while I sleep at night. It looks like working on my nutrition and endurance with loving suppotubingrt leading up to the event. It looks like inviting INCREDIBLE colleagues to come and share their gifts so that it’s not all on ME.

And in the rest of my business, it looks like (Finally!!) having a team that tells me what to do and when to do it- instead of me pulling all of the weight of the ship.
And friends: It looks like friends who I can cuddle up with and crumble into a puddle of tears from time to time and who allow me to do the same for them – no saving, mothering or fixing necessary.

At home it looks like an amazing Nanny and Housekeeper. My next desire: a true-blue personal assistant who can simply help keep it all together.

There is no freaking way I could be self-reliant anymore… Why would I even want to be? And that, my love, is the ironic outcome of becoming “self-reliant.”

So much goodness,

3 Things Women Need to UN-Learn About Sales

There is no way that I thought I’d ever grow up to be an expert in sales. I was a nice, good girl.

And nice, good girls DO NOT sell.

As I write this I think of the inevitable connection to the oldest profession in the world, and I have to think on some deeply embedded level, there is a collective belief that selling ourselves is somehow connected to… well, selling ourselves.

Nope. Sales is not for nice girls. Or decent women.


Just the idea of selling – for many women – brings of feelings of shame and embarrassment.

“I just feel so awkward!”


5 Shifts that Change the Way You Play with Money (Part 1)

I’m about to get real with you…

It’s time for you to stop being a victim of your circumstances when it comes to the relationship you have with money.

There are a million reasons why it’s time for you to stop, but the reason with the most immediate importance is that you can’t create two opposing conditions in your life at the same time.

What do I mean by that? (more…)

Throw Like A Girl

When I tell people that I teach women about personal finance, investing and wealth the first thing I often here is “oh, like Suze Orman!” “Nope,” I say, “not like Suze Orman at all.”

The truth is that when I worked in the investment management industry, I learned to teach just like her.

What I am coming to believe is that the model of investing that we’ve been taught and that is available in any number of books on the topic is a very masculine take on the subject. We’ve all been taught to pay ourselves first, to establish emergency funds for the rainy day that’s right around the corner, to tighten our belts, to clip coupons and to chase the stocks, bonds and mutual funds with the highest returns so that some day, in some uncertain future, we can put our feet in the sand in Florida. (more…)

The Article That Got Me Fired Up…

And 5 Things to do about it

I read this article this morning (you can read the infuriating article here)  and something inside of me snapped. I feel angry. I feel like I need a megaphone and a huge stepladder so that I can shout out to the world, well…to women and REAL men (I’ll have more to say on what that means in a bit) to wake up. To be honest, it’s women that I want to shake. I want to reach into your core where I know your power lies and turn you on. I want you to engage your power to – I promised myself I wouldn’t curse, but I’m really, really wanting to – to bleeping stop hiding and do your part to change this. 

A little context if you don’t want to go read this anger inducing piece in the New Yorker – it’s LONG. A reporter snuck in to a Secret Society Gathering of the worlds most influential and successful investment bankers, moguls and hedge fund managers. And their behavior was less than inspiring, let’s just say. Their complete disdain for those they serve was apparent and any sense of responsibility for what has occurred in our financial system was noticeably absent.

There are serious, serious problems in the world… problems that are not being solved simply because the concentration of wealth and power in this country and around the world lies with these men. They aren’t actually men though. They are little boys playing dress up in gray haired bodies that wear Armani suits. And in the case of the New Yorker article mentioned above, they’re playing actual dress up in drag and Mormon costumes, laughing at the financial calamity that THEY CAUSED.


What’s your procrastination poison?

Procrastination is a time monster all of us have to deal with. From putting off doing the bills to studying for a test or actually addressing conflicts with the boss, all of us find ourselves postponing the inevitable at one point of another. But is all procrastination the same and does it always serve the same goal? How does your personality fit with your own personal art of procrastination?

Interesting Image A recent study in Turkey looked at three different kinds of procrastinators: indecisive, avoidant and arousal procrastinators. Indecisive procrastinators simply cannot make up their minds. They are faced with too many choices and have difficulty selecting the one that is best for them. As a result, they postpone choosing to a much later time. Days, weeks and years go by in ambivalence, inaction and a lack of accomplishment.

Avoidant procrastinators cannot face the task they have to do, so they avoid doing this at all costs. Have to have a difficult conversation with a friend or spouse? Avoid. Have to take a look at your debt so as to do debt planning? Avoid. Have to walk past the ever-growing pile of laundry? Avoid. Avoidance procrastinators do whatever they can to not do unpleasant things.

 Then there are arousal procrastinators, who postpone things to the very last minute so that they will in fact get them done (guilty!). Why start neatening up the house when your relatives are coming in two weeks? Wait till the day before because you will actually do something. Why start studying for a test three months before when you can start a week before and not waste your time staring at the wall? Avoidance procrastinators are adrenaline junkies who put things off to the last minute so that they can harness the motivation of panic.

 What causes each of these types of procrastination? Indecisive procrastinators fear commitment to a choice and loss of other choices. So they try to prevent the loss as much as they can. Also, the commitment to a choice is threatening because there is the pressure to perform once the choice is made.

 Avoidant procrastinators are usually filled with fear about the prospect of having to do something, so they do whatever they can to build up the courage they need. For avoidance procrastinators, looking forward to the task is like looking forward to a bikini wax.

 Arousal procrastinators simply thrive on the “rush” to get things done and use their fear as a means of motivation. However, when they delay things till the very last moment, the stress can sometimes be too distracting and make it impossible to focus.

 Getting rid of procrastination requires that you get out of your head. Instead of immersing yourself in the avoidance, immerse yourself in the outcome. To be comfortable with immersion in your goals and dreams requires more than just a schedule or reminder. While schedules and reminders can be helpful, they don’t necessarily address the root psychological issues. (I know I am terribly guilty of ignoring tasks EVEN when they’re on my calendar). To immerse yourself in a task means that you stop observing your goals and yourself and get into the thick of things. But to do this requires a certain state of consciousness-a willingness to let go of observing and trust your ability to act.

 And this requires that you dare to own your own life. You have to be willing to put your entire body in action: heart rate, sweat and all. In effect, you have to let your emotions exist as they are — fear, excitement, disappointment, boredom, dread…. whatever the emotion — allowing yourself to be in it without looking at it. This form of allowing is what inspires people who act. We can exchange the thrill of last minute arousal, and the endless negative self-talk (I am a horrible person…. I still haven’t…) with the thrill of owning a life in a whole bodied way and having way more time to do it.


15 Ways We Leak Our Power


shineWe’re women. We’re famous for it. We hide our power, give it away, put ourselves down, hold ourselves back, or we don’t acknowledge our own real power … to shine, to make the most of our lives, to accept and to feel that we truly deserve the best for ourselves in our own lives. I’m not talking about the outdated macho definition of power, as in to “power over” someone or “power through” something difficult….not that power. I’m also not talking about the confidence and bold courage we earn as we feel our fears and take steps anyway. I mean the power that comes from living a life in line with our values, knowing our goals, and the REAL reasons we want to accomplish them. It’s the electric current fueled by our soul- that inner knowing of what we want, what we are here to do, and why – that gives you the feeling that you can do anything. But all too often on the path to owning our power we give it away or hide it. We’ve become REALLY good at finding creative ways to do it. Like:

1) We say”I think” rather than “I know”.