I’m at my first meeting with my Financial Planner: “So, I looked at your numbers,” she eased in. I felt like I was waiting for a diagnosis. “I think you’re working for your business instead of your business working for you.” Hunh?! But… All the honeys makin’ money…Throw your hands up at me. All the mommas who profit dollas, throw your hands up at me…

“Say more,” I responded. “Well, you have THIS much in your business account.” (Makes a big gesture with hands). “And you have this much in your personal account.” (Speaks in tiny voice and makes an inch-like sign with fingers). I noticed a box of tissues on her desk. “Let me guess,” I said, “everyone cries in their first meeting with you?”

“Well since this is obviously therapy, I’ll tell you how I feel…” I leaned in and whispered, “I feel like my ‘business money’ is the ‘school principal.’ Like, I’m gonna be in twouble if I take out cash for myself. And reeeally it’s not myyy money, it’s the company’s money. I have a team to take care of. You know, re-spons-i-bil-i-ties.” Financial Planner Power Woman sympathetically nodded. And then, with a steely-loving gaze she said: “Danielle. It’s. Your. Money.” And thus began the journey of adjusting myself to my prosperity.

All the ladies, who truly feel me…Throw your hands up at me.

We’re all imprisoned by limiting ideologies: family messaging about worthiness; a relationship in which you never felt truly valued; inequality in work or educational systems (Hello, wage gaps and male-to-female CEO ratios.) And even though we bust out of those cages, (congratulations!) sometimes we behave like we’re still in the old cage. We default to a perceived lack of freedom.

And then someone reminds you: You. Are. Free.

Guess what?!

You. Are. Free.

Right now.

To think what you want.

And what you think changes what you do.

I did all the grown up stuff with my finances and companies. I put systems into place and got all boss. But that wasn’t what mattered most. What made the difference — as in life-changing difference, was that…

I re-committed to one of my deepest desires: creative freedom. I want to be free to create — sometimes I forgot that on the way. When I made that thought shift, something mercifully stupendous happened: I actually allowed my creativity to serve me. I believed that my work should-could-would take care of my life. I started believing in what I had become by working my ass off: A sovereign ruler — with both a birthright of responsibilities and good fortune. In short: I paid myself some respect.

I’ve been very focused on being of service this life time. And I’m not all martyr-hippie about it. I’m a proud entrepreneur, I love the game of idea-to-cash. I own a lot of killer shoes and rare perfume oils. But…on a subtle but very effectual level, I was still operating on a “getting by” mentality. My “basic” business and life requirements were increasing over time. The essential costs of running and developing the company grew — much higher monthly burn rates. And in sync, I upped my “basic” lifestyle desires, from all organic food to better vacations. But internally, I was still hanging out in Basic Town, thinking I had to always work harder, that I had to earn the increases in pleasure, that I had to make sure I told people was a charitable, eco-sensitive, hard-working human. I was not… entirely free.

There’s a difference between “putting food on the table” and nourishing your life – it’s about attitude, not money.
A lot of things shifted after that revelation. Major life re-prioritization. A fresh surge of creative energy and clarity on growth sequencing. New ideas poured FORTH! #cantstopwontstop. I decided to stop waiting for “someday” and bought my dream house. I acquired another company totally on a heart instinct. I started to seek out the best team players and stopped hedging on paying best player rates. I decided that, “’cause I wanna” is a very fine business plan. And I set out to nourish my life — really and truly this time, and for a long time — by doing what I can do to nourish others.

All the women who are independent…throw your hands up at me.